Farmer mandate secured, says MIE

Meat Industry Excellence (MIE) claims it has a farmer mandate to pursue a value – and growing – red meat industry.

“Having concluded a series of meetings from Gore to Gisborne, MIE now has the confidence to push forward with red meat industry reform,” says Richard Young, MIE chairman.

The farmer action body says that farmers realise there must be change in the industry if it is to stop the loss of farms and farmers to other land uses, like dairying and these days, forestry.

“The only way you achieve this is to make red meat an attractive commercial proposition. That is why all industry stakeholders need to be part of the positive change our industry is desperately crying out for. Something MIE is here to champion.”

MIE is now working on creating a national executive and says it is close to announcing a funding strategy to deliver what needs to be done. A shortlist of candidates for an independent chairman has also been drawn up.

“It is important that we have people with the very best management and governance skills to help drive industry reform. We are calling this the meat industry’s ‘tight-five,’ ” Young says.

“While there is a degree of understandable scepticism from some quarters, the tight-five will help sort the wheat from the chaff when it comes to industry options. Other options will come to light when we get stuck into the process and could include our aspirational 80 percent model.

“MIE’s role was to get farmers thinking about our industry because the status-quo has no future. MIE firmly believes farmers will have to do what we’ve always done when we find something is broken; that is to roll up our sleeves and fix it.

“Regardless of whether the big four meat companies are successful in bringing together a short-term solution, we need commitment to change before the new season gets under way,” Young concludes.

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