Tuesday, 29 July 2014 10:26

B+L funding for MIE plan

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BEEF + LAMB HAS approved $219,000 in funding for the Meat Industry Excellence (MIE) group's business plan to support red meat sector initiatives.

The decision follows farmers voting in support of an MIE remit at the B+LNZ annual meeting in March of this year, seeking funding support for MIE initiatives.

The project includes MIE contracting independent consulting firms to research improved procurement models, flow on effects on industry profitability and communicating these findings to the sector.

Beef + Lamb NZ chairman, James Parsons says the B+LNZ Board had worked with MIE since its successful farmer remit vote and are satisfied a well thought out business plan has been developed.

Parsons says farmer and broader industry support would be important to enable successful completion of the project. "MIE will need strong engagement from both farmers and the broader industry to ensure quality and informed analysis is undertaken. B+LNZ looks forward to the outcomes of the completed analysis that MIE has requested funding to undertake, and its contribution to informing progress in achieving Red Meat Sector Strategy aims."

MIE chairman John McCarthy says improving procurement practices in the red meat sector and clarifying a road map for industry reform are the main focus of work MIE is undertaking using funding from Beef + Lamb.

"We can complement the work that Beef + Lamb is doing to advance the Red Meat Sector Strategy," he says. "Our focus is on the opportunities for farmer income beyond the farmgate.
"Our focus continues to be improving practices and industry structures to achieve greater value for farmers."

While Beef+Lamb and others have a wider emphasis, MIE unashamedly is singularly motivated, he says.

"We want to stop the rot and enable sheep and beef farmers into an industry structure that delivers comparable profitability to competing land uses."

Despite slightly better trading conditions for some this year the sector remains in decline and will continue down the slippery slope until the fundamentals are addressed, he says.

Farmers deserve a pat on the back for their productivity gains behind the gate but until we address the issues around procurement and collaborative marketing structures those gains will always be vulnerable to inefficiencies off farm, he says.

Farmers have got to take the lead themselves and the work carried out with Beef+Lamb funding would help inform and motivate farmers, McCarthy says.

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