Innes Moffat moved desks in the Deer Industry NZ (DINZ) head office on 11 October, when he became the industry organisation’s new chief executive. Deer Industry News caught up with him for a chat.
The Balcutha born and raised son of beef and sheep farmers is well known in the sector, having worked for DINZ for the past 14 years, most recently as Programme Manager for the industry’s Passion2Profit (P2P) Primary Growth Partnership with government. He is “very pleased,” he says, to step up from his current position into the top executive role, replacing his predecessor Dan Coup.
“Dan is very well liked and well regarded, with a good brain, and we’ve enjoyed his leadership. I’m fortunate – and this is what partly attracted me to this role – in that we have a hard-working team of capable professionals at DINZ, with a good strategy that is still in the midst of being implemented,” he says. The work the team is doing is well-founded, well-supported and a lot of it is achieving a good result for the industry, he adds.
Continuing that industry development, maintaining the good work environment and enhancing DINZ’ reputation as a compact and effective organisation form part of his plans for his new role. This will see him leading the DINZ team to provide assistance to farmers and marketing companies to meet the challenges ahead – around regulation, environmental management, animal welfare and market requirements – and help them produce good quality deer products.
Moffat has enjoyed the challenges and evolving role of DINZ, which saw him working closely alongside then CEO Mark O’Connor on the embryonic Productivity Improvement Project (PIP) which later led to P2P.
“We’ve always focused on areas where DINZ can make a difference, rather than trying to provide all services to all people, and working very closely with other organisations that are talking to the same farmers in an effort not to duplicate services,” he says.
Career highlights for Moffat have included submitting the successful PGP application for the P2P programme, the development of Advance Party initiative and seeing how young German chefs embraced the New Zealand industry during the young chef exchange DINZ ran for three years.
Current Venison Marketing Manager Nick Taylor will assume responsibility for the Marketing Premium Venison programme of the P2P Marketing Premium Venison programme. The DINZ board is already looking to the future and the search is on for a new manager for the P2P Production projects for the final two years of the market-led production component of the programme.
“We’ll be making a few changes to the way we’ll deliver that programme. It will be important for whoever comes into that role to develop post-P2P farm services and deliver the transition plan,” Moffat explains.
He is looking forward to meeting people in his new capacity and also learning more about the velvet side of the business.
Immediate matters on Moffat’s desk, at the time of writing, included: his first meetings with the DINZ board and Audit & Risk Committee; a job description for the new P2P Production Manager; Farm Production; and figuring out where DINZ fits in the He Waka Ine Noa (the Primary Sector Climate Change Coalition partnership with Government), to which DINZ is a signatory.
“DINZ believes livestock producers should be working towards reducing agricultural greenhouse gas emissions,” he says, but the methane reduction targets in the Zero Carbon bill are unrealistic.
The industry organisation will continue to support research into methane reduction technologies for deer and will be working with co-signatories on a cost-effective and efficient means of greenhouse gas accounting at farm level. With everyone working together in the same direction, political will and depending on new technology coming onstream, reducing emissions should be achievable, he says.
Freshwater is another big issue on the desk. DINZ believes the way forward is for farmers have an appropriate Farm Environment Plan to identify points of contamination, rather than blanket prescriptive rules that might have a negative impact, Moffat says. The DINZ team will continue discussions with the Ministry for the Environment.
In work, the new CEO will be seen around the DINZ board table, DEEResearch, OSPRI Stakeholders Council and the Government Industry Agreement (GIA) Governance Group. He is also looking forward to attending the PGP Programme Steering Group as an attendee rather than as Programme Manager.
Outside work, Moffat’s main activity at the moment – besides acting as taxi service for he and wife Megan’s two lively sons – is helping the builders with an extension on the family’s 1930s weatherboard bungalow. He also enjoys introducing the boys to scuba-diving, along with other watersports, and mountain-biking.
This article appeared in the latest edition of Deer Industry News magazine (December/January 2019) is reproduced here with permission. Check out the magazine for more in-depth deer industry specific news, including on-farm fieldays, trials and more.