4 Apr 2013

Eckhoff leaves Meat Industry Excellence Group

2:12 pm on 4 April 2013

Farmer and former MP Gerry Eckhoff has quit the new Meat Industry Excellence Group due to a difference of opinion.

The group is calling for a united meat industry and Mr Eckhoff chaired its first meeting in Gore last month, where about 1000 farmers overwhelmingly supported its aim of forcing a change in structure in the red meat sector.

Mr Eckhoff said he feels it is necessary needed to get a mandate throughout the country before engaging with companies, but others thought it was better to engage with the companies first.

Mr Eckhoff says his is not the only recent resignation from the group.

Meat Industry Excellence Group spokesperson Allan Richardson said the campaign to drum up more farmer support around the country will continue.

Both he and Mr Eckhoff say his departure will not hinder the movement to get a better structure for the meat industry.

The next Meat Industry Excellence Group farmer meeting will be held in Feilding on 26 April.