2 Mar 2018

NZ meat industry confident despite protein threat

3:08 pm on 2 March 2018

The New Zealand meat industry is insisting it will survive and even thrive, despite the pressures from alternative protein food products.

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Photo: 123RF

Alternative proteins include plant-based meat substitutes and edible insects.

Beef and Lamb New Zealand said that while alternative proteins were currently manufactured in small volumes, large-scale production of burger patties and mince was likely to be a reality within five years.

The organisation has just released a report into the challenges, opportunities and threats posed by alternatives to red-meat.

General manager of market development Nick Beeby said there was still untapped potential for natural, free-range, grass-fed, and hormone-free red-meat.

He said that customers and consumers around the world know a little about New Zealand but their knowledge of its farming practices was quite weak.

"The real opportunity is connecting our customers and consumers around the world with how we actually farm."

"It's all about us developing a red-meat story," he said.

Mr Beeby said New Zealand has to be the best at producing red-meat products.

"New Zealand can only feed 40 million people in the world with our red-meat products, so we have to absolutely be aiming at the top."

He said achieving a premium price was the long-term vision.

Mr Beeby said the focus must be on what the consumer wanted.

"It's become very clear to us that the consumer is after a natural product, a real product."