A Nuffield farming scholar says the meat and wool industry needs to make significant changes to its structure to improve returns to farmers.
James Parsons is a sheep and beef farmer in Northland and a Meat & Wool representative.
He says years of efficiency gains in the industry have not meant better returns to producers.
He says New Zealand farmers' share of the UK retail price of lamb shrank by 20% in the four years to 2006, which contributed to the lowest-ever sheep and beef farm profit in 50 years.
During his Nuffield research on the industry's value chain, Mr Parsons found that the industry needed to consolidate to improve prices.
He says the structure also needs to change from being retail-led to producer-driven.
Mr Parsons says the industry also needs to improve its relationship between consumers and producers.