Change or lose out, meat industry told

Change or lose out, meat industry told

According to a recent government study, New Zealand's meat industry could miss out on opportunities for international growth and lose out to rivals if it does not change its ways.

Yesterday, a Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF) discussion document was released, which specified that the industry could significantly be a world leader of high quality, sustainably produced meat; however, it warned there was little desire to make the substantial steps needed to take the meat industry forward.

New Zealand may increase its meat sales in Asia, Africa and the Middle East, within the next 15 years.

The report said: "Collectively, the opportunities identified describe the potential for a vibrant sector that places New Zealand at the forefront of high-quality, sustainably produced meat, rewarding farmers for meeting consumer expectations in both traditional and new markets."

It further added that the desired results were impossible to achieve through inaction or simply 'carrying on as normal'.

"The next 10 to 15 years are likely to see a continued increase in the internationalization of meat processing companies," the report continued.

Furthermore, it was also mentioned in the report that despite challenges from international competition, environmental concerns from consumers, lack of marketing focus, domination by large retailers and farmers wanting flexible supply arrangements; there was little appetite for significant change.

The report read, "The overall impression is that respondents in the sector are largely only confident in predicting small incremental changes in the future."

It should be noted that two years of failed attempts by the industry to instigate mergers and partnerships and to change the way it operated was tracked by the MAF study.