Thursday, 12 October 2017 13:55

No levy rise for red meat sector

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Sheep and beef levies will not rise this year. Sheep and beef levies will not rise this year.

Sheep and beef farmers will not be paying extra levies for the year starting October 1.

Beef + Lamb New Zealand (B+LNZ) chairman James Parsons says the board has reviewed budgets and activities for the financial year; the sheep meat levy on all sheep slaughtered would remain $0.60 per head and the beef levy, on all cattle slaughtered (including beef cattle and dairy cattle but excluding bobby calves), at $4.40 per head GST (exclusive).

“We’ve recently completed a consultation round with farmers where we asked for feedback on our updated strategy through to 2022 and also what we’re committing to in the year ahead,” says Parsons.

“Farmers have reinforced the issues that matter most to them and given us strong direction.

“Some key areas are improved promotion of our products in partnership with processors, better extension and an influential voice with government to ensure farmers’ backs are covered on issues such as biosecurity, environment and compliance issues.”

Parsons says farmers are getting real value out of recent workshops and seminars across some of these key issues, particularly health and safety and environmental planning.

There is also a big ambition and urgency to see the New Zealand red meat story told, ensuring urban audiences and global customers understand the sector, its value and market difference.

“Farmers want to promote the value of New Zealand’s natural pasture fed beef and lamb and high-quality farming systems and draw in consumers with that story, especially as synthetic proteins emerge more into the market.”

The environment has emerged as a concern for farmers, particularly around water quality and farming.

“Farmers want better connections with all New Zealanders and ensure they better understand that farmers value the environment, and are making big efforts to protect and enhance it. 

“At the same time, they want support for more actions and solutions, more environmental planning workshops and tools to help measure the impact of what they’re doing to improve the environment and more engagement with government to ensure practical policies are in place.”

Parsons says the newly refreshed Beef + Lamb NZ strategy for the next five years reflects farmer feedback and sets a vision, priorities and goals to achieve by 2022.

“Ultimately, it’s about profitable farmers and thriving rural communities valued by all New Zealanders. That’s what farmers want and they’ve given us fantastic feedback to ensure we’re focused on what matters to get there.”

 

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