Funding increase for meat industry research initiatives

Following the Ministry of Primary Industry (MPI)’s review of cost recovery in earlier this year, there will be an increase in funding for meat industry research from 1 July 2015.

Standards and risk assessment measures under the Animal Products Act 1999 require a scientific basis, especially when MPI is required to negotiate access to overseas markets based on food safety measures in place in New Zealand. Currently, levies of one cent per lamb equivalent for each lamb, bobby calf, sheep or cattle beast slaughtered and dressed are put towards the cost of this research.

This research is managed through the Meat Industry Initiative Fund, which supports a number of critical projects relating to food safety which have a clear industry-good (as opposed to individual private good).

Decisions about priorities for research funding are made following discussions between MPI and the Meat Industry Association (MIA).

The MIA supported the increase in the research contribution from one cent per lamb equivalent to up to 2.5 cents per lamb equivalent, as it has identified research in certain areas that it considered would benefit the industry should additional research funding be available, notes MIA chief executive Tim Ritchie.

This increase in the levy will take effect from 1 July.

Research that will potentially benefit from the increase in funding includes work on increasing the quality and shelf-life of chilled meat, addressing food safety issues relating to adoption of more efficient processing techniques, and research into ways to prevent bacterial contamination.

This article has appeared in Food NZ magazine (June/July 2015) and is reproduced here with permission.

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