RED MEAT SECTOR PROGRAMME FORMALISED AND SET TO BOOST FARMER PRODUCTIVITY AND PROFITABILITY

Media Release (11 December 2013)
The red meat profit partnership is the newest programme to get underway in MPI's primary growth partnership, following a contract being signed between MPI and co-investors.

It is a $64 million sector development programme of which $32.1 million is funded by the primary growth partnership and the remainder by industry and sheep and beef farmers.

MPI director-general Martyn Dunne says the red meat profit partnership aims to boost the capability of our red meat sector by ensuring it has ready access to best practice information, tools and support.

"The red meat profit partnership is the most comprehensive collaboration across the red meat sector that has ever been undertaken," says Mr Dunne.

Co-investors include Alliance Group, ANZCO Foods, ANZ Bank, Beef + Lamb New Zealand (on behalf of sheep and beef farmers), Blue Sky Meats, Greenlea Premier Meats, Progressive Meats, Rabobank and Silver Fern Farms.

The programme is designed to be open, enabling others to invest and provide support throughout its duration.

Market-led programme to lift sector productivity

"The red meat sector is such an important contributor to our economy, and I'm excited at the potential of this market-led programme to lift productivity in the sector and provide valuable support to farmers and others involved."

The seven-year red meat profit partnership comprises four core projects:

  • researching the information requirements of different farm businesses
  • developing and supporting sheep and beef farmers and their advisors
  • capturing and benchmarking key business data to inform business decisions
  • developing technical resources

Enabling consistency in farm performance and profitability

"The red meat profit partnership will enable more consistency in farm performance and profitability, through assisting farmers to extend their capability based on best practice information and resources, sharing information, and providing suitable tools and support," says Mr Dunne.

"The level of interest by the red meat sector shows the importance it places on ensuring the sustainability of the sector and the commitment to this exciting PGP programme.

"This will also build on the work currently being led as part of the existing PGP programme transforming the dairy value chain, and pave the way for much needed and sought after sector-wide benchmarking," he says.

"We will be monitoring the programme to ensure it delivers on the expectations of all programme partners."

Boosting capability through access to information, tools and support

Partnership independent chair, Malcolm Bailey says the programme is about helping farmers to improve their productivity and profitability.

"We're planning to get underway without any delay and the first 100 days of activity will be very busy. The priority is to appoint a general manager, establish advisory structures, and immediately initiate the first pieces of work. Work is already progressing on those points," he says.

"The partners are well aware of the need to hit the ground running. There are many aspects to begin working on, but overall the key idea is to develop a deep understanding of how sheep and beef farmers want to receive and apply information that can drive the profitability of their business.

Customised services to fit farm needs

"This is not about 'telling' farmers – but treating them as customers and placing them at the centre, delivering customised services that fit their farm needs, rather than a one size fits all approach."

The programme will develop a range of pilot extension programmes around New Zealand, where farmers, processors and advisors will trial techniques for delivering new information to support profitability. The programme will develop multiple, coordinated channels to support sheep and beef farmers.

"We will also immediately begin developing common data standards for the sheep and beef sector. This will support the easy transfer and consistent analysis of data between the many new, data-driven farm management tools appearing on the market," says Mr Bailey.