Farmers back meat industry strategy
Farmers have voted in favour of spending almost $20 million of farmer reserves on a programme to save the meat industry.
Last month farmers were asked to vote on whether $19.6m of reserves from Beef + Lamb NZ and the New Zealand Meat Board should be used for the Collaboration for Sustainable Growth programme.
The $65m programme, which is based on the 2011 Red Meat Sector Strategy, aims to improve profitability at the farm gate through information sharing, education and stronger relationships between farmers and processors.
Beef + Lamb southern South Island director Leon Black said there was a strong majority - 77 per cent of voters - in favour of the programme.
However, there could have been a larger voter turnout, he said.
Almost 3000 farmers voted.
The programme had stimulated discussions about other areas of the Red Meat Sector Strategy which was positive, he said.
Beef + Lamb chairman Mike Petersen said it was a strong endorsement for the programme which could transform the sector.
"It's particularly pleasing that farmers have supported this unprecedented red meat sector collaboration with six meat companies, two banks and a professional services firm - with the potential to transform the sector.
"The next step is the development of the contract between the Crown and the partner group and we hope that we can get on with delivering the programme activities in the second half of this year," he said.
Votes were tallied last Friday and Beef + Lamb was given approval to use the reserves at a New Zealand Meat Board meeting in Wellington yesterday.
The Government has agreed to fund $32m toward the programme, which will be matched by industry.
Meanwhile, hundreds of Southland farmers and industry representatives are expected to gather in Gore next week to discuss problems in the red meat sector.
- © Fairfax NZ News
Your club information portal, post or view your sports fixtures, results and general information.
Check out what's on in your community or post an upcoming event.
Subscribe to a digital replica of The Southland Times.
Southland Times subscriber news and information.
Click here for information about advertising with The Southland Times.
Buy copies of photos featured in The Southland Times.