Meat industry had “challenging year” in 2012, new report says

Compared to other sectors of the New Zealand food and beverage industry, the meat industry had a “challenging year” in 2012, a new report notes.

The iFAB 2013 Meat Review is one of six 2013 Food and Beverage Industry reviews just released by The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE). It was produced by Coriolis on behalf of MBIE, New Zealand Trade & Enterprise and the Ministry for Primary Industries.

The report relates to the 2012 year and uses a SWOT analysis to point the way to the many opportunities on offer for the industry (some of which are already underway) including enhanced trade access through free trade agreements and removal of EU farm subsidies in the medium-term, scientific research showing superior health properties, genomics research, extending the shelf-life of chilled product, increased demand for protein globally, moved to chilled product and development of brands, livestock identification extended to farm management and consumer market and the encouragement of innovation on-farm practices to minimise greenhouse gases.

On the other hand, threats include continued loss of land to dairy, reduction of market access, disease outbreaks and Southern South America adopting the Australian/New Zealand pasture systems.

Weakness identified in the analysis include the familiar – high tariff barriers into markets such as Japan, Europe and Korea, labour shortages, procurement and processing inefficiencies, limited in-market knowledge and experience with branded and high value processed meats or meal solutions, falling prices – plus “playing catchup” with other countries in on-farm tracking technology.

Transforming ingredients, rather than producing more ingredients is seen as a potential area for new and/or external investment in the meat industry. The report points to some opportunity for consolidation among second tier beef and lamb processors, particularly in the North Island and a move to make more value-added products in New Zealand.

“There are significant opportunities for growth across a range of sectors, including canned meats and meals, frozen meals, soups, jerky, pet food and formed hamburgers for chain fast-food.”

The Meat Review also looks at global meat production, inputs, the firms (including turnover, production share, employment, new investments and acquisitions), company profiles, markets and products. Processed foods are the topic of one of the other reports.

Together the six reports show that New Zealand’s food and beverage sector continues to set the pace in export performance.

MBIE general manager of Tourism, Sectors Regions and Cities, Lisa Barrett, says the food and beverage industry is critical to achieving the Government’s goals of increasing New Zealand exports.

The pleasing message is that the sector is more diversified than many think, “with real and growing strengths beyond dairy,” says Barrett.

The six reports review all the major export categories – processed foods, meat, dairy, seafood, beverages and produce. For the first time, the Reviews include profiles of the top 10 firms in each category as well as the major investments and acquisitions. They are part of the on-going Food & Beverage Information Project, the most comprehensive analysis of New Zealand’s food industry ever undertaken.

Read the report here …

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