Meat & Livestock News

Farmers Invited to Voice Opinions on Funding for Beef Genetics and Facial Eczema Research


  • The New Zealand Meat Board (NZMB) proposes funding for the Informing New Zealand Beef (INZB) genetics programme and a new facial eczema research project, seeking farmer feedback.
  • Up to $700,000 could go towards INZB, with an additional $1 million for facial eczema research, funded from NZMB’s financial reserves.
  • Farmers are encouraged to share their views on these initiatives and a proposed director fee pool increase ahead of the NZMB Annual Meeting on 15 March.

The New Zealand Meat Board (NZMB) is calling on farmers to share their insights on a proposal to continue supporting the Informing New Zealand Beef (INZB) genetics programme and to fund a new research project aimed at combating facial eczema.

The board is considering allocating up to $700,000 for the INZB programme and up to $1 million for the facial eczema initiative. These funds are part of the NZMB’s financial reserves, amounting to $76.9 million, which are managed on behalf of New Zealand’s farmers for industry-good projects and as a contingency fund.

NZMB chair Kate Acland highlighted the dual purpose of these reserves: to rebuild international market confidence following major incidents, like a Foot and Mouth disease outbreak, and to support projects beneficial to the industry. Acland stressed the importance of farmer feedback in this funding process, underscoring the value the board places on their opinions.

The INZB programme aims to provide farmers with genetic tools to enhance beef quality, productivity, and profitability. Acland reported that the programme is on track to deliver a $452 million return to farmers. The proposed funding for facial eczema research, known as the Eliminating the Impacts of Facial Eczema (EFEI) programme, seeks to develop solutions to mitigate the disease’s effects on livestock health and productivity. This initiative comes in response to the disease’s increasing prevalence and its economic impact on the sheep, beef, and dairy sectors.

In addition to these funding proposals, farmers will have the opportunity to comment on a resolution to increase the director fee pool for NZMB directors. This increase, recommended by the Director Independent Remuneration Committee (DIRC), would adjust the chair’s fee to $30,000 and the fees for seven farmer and industry directors to $18,000.

The NZMB, a key institution in New Zealand’s red meat sector for over a century, plays a crucial role in managing industry reserves and supporting the country’s beef and sheepmeat exports. With the board managing ten export quotas worth nearly $3 billion by year-end, the proposed funding initiatives and director fee adjustments are significant for the industry’s future.

Farmers are encouraged to provide their feedback on these proposals through the form included in the recent NZMB-Beef + Lamb New Zealand mail-out or by visiting the NZMB website. Registration for the Annual Meeting on 15 March is also available online, offering farmers a platform to discuss these initiatives further.