The penny seems to have dropped that the workforce which produces food for local and export markets are very much essential workers.
Karapeeva, who is currently the Meat Industry Association's (MIA) trade and economic manager, has been with the trade association since 2015. She replaces Tim Ritchie who is retiring after 12 years in the role.
Karapeeva, who takes over in April, held a variety of trade, policy and regulatory roles in Government before joining MIA.
She has a Bachelor of Business Studies, First Class Honours, from Massey University, Palmerston North.
MIA chairman John Loughlin says it is pleased to be able to appoint someone of Karapeeva’s calibre.
“She has built up important relationships across government and the industry and this will be vital as we collaborate with others to advance the interests of the red meat sector and New Zealand’s wider primary sector.
“Sirma has a strong understanding of the red meat sector’s priorities and challenges, practical experience and understanding of the international trade environment, negotiations and agreements and expertise in policy development.
“I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Tim Ritchie for his service to the meat processing and exporting industry. He has made an outstanding contribution and we wish him well in his retirement.”
Karapeeva says the red meat sector is operating in an increasingly complex environment and faces a number of challenges both domestically and internationally.
“I am looking forward to supporting the sector to capture opportunities and position the industry as an innovative and progressive producer and exporter of safe, high quality food. Meat processing is the country’s largest manufacturing industry and makes a significant contribution to New Zealand.”