Dealing with agricultural emissions is very much on the radar of farmers, says Beef + Lamb NZ chief executive Sam McIvor.
ANZCO FOODS puts producer groups at the top of its list of procurement and marketing initiatives making a dollar difference to returns to farmers.
ANZCO operates (and has done for many years) a number of specific farmer producer groups strongly aligned with work that will ultimately be done as part of the ‘Collaboration for Sustainable Growth’ PGP scheme. The producer groups focus on:
Continuous improvement: collectively, the producer groups achieve continuous improvement through recording best practices, business development projects, taste testing, benchmarking and collective learning. Producers also receive feedback from ANZCO and its customers, ensuring a strong market focus is maintained.
Communication: through working together to understand each other’s strengths and challenges, individual producer groups can network and develop in this environment.
Customer interaction: members appreciate the chance to spend time with customers and hear first-hand what is happening in the market place and what flow-on effect is likely in New Zealand. Equally, producers are able to let the customer know what is influencing decisions made within the farmgate.
Critical to the success of the groups has been the producer group committees, made up of a combination of producers and company personnel, set up to ensure producers are involved in decision making on developments of the producer group direction.
A testament to the success of our producer groups are the long term partnerships between ANZCO and UK supermarket chain Waitrose, and Japanese restaurant chain Aleph, for which dedicated producer groups have continued to grow in the 12 years they have been in place.
ANZCO’s Foodplus Programme
In addition to its contribution of $1.3 million to the ‘Collaboration for Sustainable Growth’ which focuses on activity ‘behind the farmgate’, ANZCO has also committed $43.5 million to a second PGP programme which will be jointly funded by the Government – Foodplus, focussed on innovation beyond the farmgate.
Foodplus will focus on identifying opportunities to create new products, with particular concentration on parts of the beef carcass that currently generates less value. The programme’s goal is to reposition the market’s traditional and narrow perception of meat products through the development of novel, sustainable, value added products in food, ingredients and healthcare.
Development of niche lamb brands
An example of market area gains has been the launch by ANZCO and its market partners of two niche lamb brands into Europe and the UK respectively within the last 18 months which link specific customers and groups of producers while extending the market reach of New Zealand lamb.