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New Zealand sheep and beef farmers have agreed to co-fund the 'Collaboration for Sustainable Growth Red Meat Primary Growth Partnership', following a farmer vote held at the Beef + Lamb New Zealand Annual Meeting in Wanaka last week.
Electionz.com, which managed the vote on behalf of B+LNZ, has advised that the resolution was passed with 77% support from 2,746 participating votes.
The weighted voting percentage represents 21.3% of the potential total weighted vote based on sheep (31.2m head), beef (3.74 m head), and dairy (6.46 m head) livestock numbers at 30 June 2012.
B+LNZ Chairman, Mike Petersen said that following the funding commitment from the Government and industry partners, the positive farmer vote paves the way for the programme to proceed.
At a New Zealand Meat Board meeting in Wellington today, B+LNZ was given approval to commit existing reserve funds towards the programme.
"This is a strong endorsement for the programme which has the ability to take the sheep and beef sector to the next level."
"It's particularly pleasing that farmers have supported this unprecedented red meat sector collaboration with six meat companies, two banks and a professional services firm – with the potential to transform the sector."
"The next step is the development of the contract between the Crown and the partner group and we hope that we can get on with delivering the programme activities in the second half of this year."
The Government has agreed to commit $32 million, industry partners $13 million and the farmer share of the $65 million project is $2.8 million a year or $19.7 million over seven years.
More information on the programme can be found at beeflambnz.com/pgp
Comment by Federated Farmers
The strong farmer support for Beef+Lamb New Zealand’s co-funding of the Collaboration for Sustainable Growth Primary Growth Partnership (PGP) programme shows the entire red meat industry is on track toward a brighter future, says Jeanette Maxwell, Federated Farmers Meat & Fibre Chairperson.
"This PGP will provide a huge amount of investment in ways farmers can directly increase their productivity and returns through their own efforts, so it is very heartening that Beef + Lamb New Zealand’s co-funding resolution was supported," Mrs Maxwell says.
"Federated Farmers saw the potential in this partnership and more than three quarters of the sheep and beef farmers who voted agreed."
"While the red meat sector is having a tough season with drought now adding to the stress of lower prices, I am confident this scheme could mean we do not face such dire seasons in the future."
"This partnership will fund research into what improvements on and off farm can be made to directly increase farmers’ productivity and lower our input costs."
"It will lead to better communication and collaboration between all parts of our industry, which will increase farm-gate returns.
"It would be great to look back on the 2012/13 season and say, "That was the year when everything changed for the better"," Mrs Maxwell concluded.