20 Jul 2010

New attempt to develop meat industry strategy

12:49 pm on 20 July 2010

The Meat Industry Association and Beef + Lamb New Zealand have announced a fresh attempt to develop a strategy for the sector.

The industry began strategy talks a couple of years ago, at the same time as meat company mergers were under consideration, but those talks ended when the merger negotiations failed.

Farmer complaints about low returns and calls for meat industry restructuring have continued.

Beef + Lamb chairman Mike Petersen, says having a strategy is a critical first step towards improving profitability in the meat sector.

He says that once a strategy is complete, structural changes can then be addressed.

Mr Petersen says analytical work will be done as the first phase of the strategy by the end of the year.

Agriculture Minister David Carter has welcomed the joint plan to lift the performance of the meat industry.

He says it has been widely acknowledged that the status quo is unacceptable, but there has been a frustrating lack of action, which has to change.