The Beef + Lamb New Zealand (B+LNZ) Board has approved funding for the Meat Industry Excellence (MIE) group’s Business Plan to support red meat sector initiatives.
The decision to approve the funding application comes following farmers voting in support of an MIE remit at the B+LNZ Annual Meeting in March of this year, seeking funding support for MIE initiatives.
The $219,000 project includes MIE contracting independent consulting firms to research improved procurement models, flow-on effects on industry profitability and communicating these findings to the sector.
Beef + Lamb New Zealand chairman, James Parsons said the B+LNZ Ltd board had worked with MIE since their successful farmer remit vote and are satisfied a well thought out business plan has been developed.
Parsons acknowledged that farmer and broader industry support would be important to enable successful completion of the project.
“MIE will need strong engagement from both farmers and the broader industry to ensure quality and informed analysis is undertaken. B+LNZ looks forward to the outcomes of the completed analysis that MIE has requested funding to undertake, and its contribution to informing progress in achieving Red Meat Sector Strategy aims.”
The funding approval was announced on Monday, the same day as the Red Meat Sector Conference.
Grunty and robust business plan
Speaking to the MIE annual general meeting in Wellington the same day, chairman John McCarthy described the sign off “on what will be a grunty and robust business plan” as having the potential to “deliver a definite road map for farmer profitability as we move forward.”
He sees MIE’s advantage as being a single issue organisation, as opposed to B+LNZ and Federated Farmers which he said are diluted by their wider organisational focus.
“We are determined to grow the farmer slice and we are unashamedly farmer focused.”
MIE’s focus is on adding value and cutting cost. “It makes no sense to have a number of chief executives when one will do the trick. Less is more if we are to genuinely address the structural problems endemic in this industry,” he said.
“It is vitally important that the figures around the size of the prize are credible, peer reviewed to the highest standard and can provide an informed overview as to the opportunities arising from changed behaviours around committed supply, coordinated and synergistic marketing practices and generally aligned and transparent best practice. As part of that process, we are developing interactive communication strategies in order that we can disseminate those messages back to the grassroots.”
According to McCarthy this year will be make or break for the red meat sector reform campaign.
“We will give farmers the roadmap for reform through the credible and substantiated findings of our business plan. We will identify the size of the prize. We will seek farmer support. At the end of the day we, the farmers, will get what we wish for, we will get the future we deserve.”