5 Sep 2011

Red meat industry urged to have long-term focus

6:06 am on 5 September 2011

The Agriculture Minister has warned the red meat industry not to let the greatly improved outlook and returns distract it from the long-term issues still confronting it.

David Carter told the first combined red meat sector conference in Rotorua that it should be proud of its work in developing its new strategy to bring the industry back to profitability.

But he says there are still plenty of challenges and sustained profitability will not come solely from relying on swings in the commodity market, nor will it come from individuals and companies acting in isolation.

Mr Carter says the sector must focus on where it is going in the longer term and, at a time when prices are allowing the sector to pick itself up, there is no better time to look ahead.

He says he believes in the red meat industry and is doing his bit by converting a Banks Peninsula dairy farm to sheep and beef production.