Deer Industry New Zealand (DINZ) has welcomed announcements, made today by AgResearch, finalising the shape of its ‘Future Footprint’ restructuring.
DINZ deputy chair, Jerry Bell, says that it is important that the plan is now finalised, giving certainty to the staff who will be affected, and DINZ was satisfied that the final changes to ‘Future Footprint’ were significant and a good outcome for both Invermay and the deer industry.
“While we accepted the strategic rationale for Future Footprint, we have been concerned throughout that such strategic change can be very disruptive and can contribute to a loss of important people. In that context, it’s great to draw a line under the process.”
Bell says that DINZ was also supportive of the final detail announced by AgResearch, which struck a good balance between central co-location of shared science resources and regional locations for farm systems scientists.
“AgResearch gave a commitment from day one to the provision of on-farm deer research and we are very pleased that they have chosen to retain the Invermay farm for this purpose. It is a wonderful facility and will of course be handily located for the deer farm systems team that AgResearch has announced will be strengthened and retained at Invermay.”
Along with other Southern farmers, many deer farmers had expressed concerns about the Future Footprint strategy and the potential for loss of capability and connection between researchers and local farmers. Bell says that DINZ was aware of these but had preferred one-on-one discussions with AgResearch rather than public debate.
“We feel that we have had a good engagement with AgResearch throughout its consultation process and that we’ve had effective discussions. I hope other deer farmers will agree that the final outcome addresses many of their concerns about deer capability and connection with the southern deer farming heartland”.
“We wish AgResearch and its staff well in the process to implement Future Footprint now it has been finalised”.