Meat & Livestock News

New Zealand’s Red Meat Sector Urges Future Government to Prioritize Agriculture in Economic Strategy

WELLINGTON — As New Zealand charts its economic future, leaders in its red meat sector are urging the forthcoming government to place agriculture, particularly beef and lamb production, at the forefront of the nation’s economic blueprint.

A newly released document titled “Putting Meat on the Bone,” jointly presented by the Meat Industry Association and Beef + Lamb New Zealand (B+LNZ), outlines a series of strategic challenges that the nation must address to enhance its prosperity. The document also proposes a five-pronged approach to achieve this objective.

Central to their recommendations is the elevation of the red meat sector as a pivotal element in New Zealand’s economic strategy. The sector’s leaders are also advocating for a realignment of the nation’s scientific and innovative endeavors to yield strategic outcomes. 

Additionally, they emphasize the importance of collaboration between the industry and the government to bolster sustainability, enhance inter-departmental coordination, and implement streamlined regulations backed by comprehensive impact assessments.

Nathan Guy, Chair of the Meat Industry Association, underscored the unique position of agriculture in New Zealand’s economic landscape. “Agriculture stands as our premier industry of scale, and it’s an arena where New Zealand distinctly outshines on the global platform,” Guy remarked. 

He further highlighted the red meat sector’s substantial economic contribution, stressing the need for conducive governmental policies that foster growth rather than impede it. Guy also called for a long-term perspective from political factions, emphasizing the importance of consensus in driving progress.

Drawing attention to New Zealand’s successful trade strategies over the past three decades, Guy noted, “Our nation’s trade strategy, marked by a series of Free Trade Agreements, has significantly bolstered our economic stature and global competitiveness.”

Kate Acland, Chair of Beef + Lamb New Zealand, lauded the country’s farmers, describing them as some of the world’s most sustainable red meat producers. This, she believes, offers a competitive edge in a global market where consumers are becoming increasingly discerning about the environmental implications of their dietary choices.

Acland stressed the need for collaboration between future governments and the livestock sector to devise efficient regulatory frameworks. “Our farmers are grappling with a slew of ill-conceived regulations that jeopardize the sustainability of their farming enterprises,” she said. 

Acland emphasized the necessity for fair, practical, and effective rules that align with the aspirations of both the farming community and the nation at large.

Expressing a readiness to collaborate, Acland stated that all stakeholders in the red meat sector are poised to work alongside the upcoming government to translate this economic vision into tangible benefits for all New Zealanders.

It’s noteworthy that Beef + Lamb New Zealand and the Meat Industry Association collectively represent a vast network that includes farmers who rear New Zealand’s renowned sheep and cattle, as well as the professionals responsible for processing, exporting, and marketing these products to a global clientele spanning over 100 countries.