18 Apr 2013

Second farmers meeting supports meat sector change

8:35 am on 18 April 2013

Farmers in Canterbury have joined their more southern counterparts in calling for major restructuring of the red meat sector.

About 600 farmers attended Wednesday's Meat Industry Excellence Group meeting in Christchurch.

The first of the meetings in Gore last month was attended by 1000 farmers who agreed the red meat industry must be overhauled.

Meat Excellence Industry Group spokesperson Blair Gallagher says the great majority at the Canterbury meeting wanted to see one organisation processing and marketing at least 80% of red meat.

He says what came out of the meeting is that the status quo is not an option and a culture change is needed across the industry.

Mr Gallagher says another positive point was the support meat co-operatives Silver Fern Farms and Alliance showed for the initiative.

He says the group will now wait for the outcome of the North Island farmer meeting to see whether the move has nationwide support.

The North Island gathering takes place in Feilding on 26 April.