Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Meat: The Future

Twice this year I’ve gone in search of some great tasting lamb and beef – first as a judge at the Glammies (Golden Lamb Awards) and then as a judge of the best steak at the Steak of Origin competition.

It’s not hard to guess that I enjoy eating Kiwi beef and lamb. It also explains my real interest in the recent launch of “Meat: the Future”, a MAF study that looks at the opportunities and challenges facing our meat industry.

The study points to a positive future for the sector – as long as it recognises that it needs to change. As I said at the launch, the status quo cannot remain for the industry.

It was good to see the study shows some optimism; two-thirds of those surveyed agreed that the meat sector would be a good investment in 15 years’ time.

Following the launch, I met with senior meat sector representatives to generate debate within the industry about where it heads from here.

Discussion was robust and productive. It is hopefully only the beginning of a process by which the meat industry – processors, farmers and other stakeholders – will work together to deliver higher returns to the sector.

My challenge to everyone involved is to think about where you want this industry to be in 10 to 15 years’ time. Solutions need to be driven by the sector, for the sector.

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