Beef + Lamb New Zealand Chief Executive, Dr Scott Champion said Silver Fern Farms commitment to the application, now in the business case planning phase, demonstrated a strong collaborative approach for developing a profitable and sustainable base for farmers.
"Powering up our on-farm capabilities is going to allow new and more sophisticated conversations and arrangements with processors and others in the value chain. This demonstrates alignment and has the ability to shift sector performance as outlined in the Red Meat Sector Strategy."
Dr Champion said it had always been intended that the programme be open to like-minded partners to join, providing they share the same vision and are prepared to invest.
Silver Fern Farms Group Category Manager, Grant Howie said the company fully supported the scope of the initiative and is committed to developing a workable business case that initiates positive change to the red meat sector and compliments other PGP initiatives.
"Once we had clarification of the bid and draft investment requirements we were able to quickly make the decision to participate. It makes sense for partners on both sides of the farmgate to collaborate on building a more sustainable future for our sector," Mr Howie said.
Dr Champion said at the heart of the collaborative PGP project is transforming the way knowledge and capability is developed to optimise value to farmers and co-investors. This would see a new framework of best practice information that will be easy to understand and access. It will be delivered through multiple channels, including harnessing the farm-facing networks of the commercial partners.
"There's a long way to go still, but having Silver Fern Farms onboard is a positive demonstration of the sector engaging collectively."
Dr Champion said there would be wider consultation with farmers over the coming months and the target was to have the business plan ready for submission to government and complete by the end of the year.
The founding partners in the PGP consortium are Beef + Lamb New Zealand, Alliance Group, ANZCO Foods, Blue Sky Meats, Progressive Meats, Deloitte and ANZ.