Carter urges more loyalty from farmers to meat companies

Carter urges more loyalty from farmers to meat companies

A theme by industry leaders calling for operators to show long term support for farmer owned companies is gaining more voices.

If however farmers are to commit to one company for a year they need to see more transparency in pricing. Nothing annoys farmers more than special deals done with others that reap rewards for those with similar stock. Farmers need transparent pricing to bench mark efficent and profitable companies to follow.

An industry approach to marketing overseas that benefits all farmers, would also help regain the trust long since lost with some meat companies.

With products selling for high levels overseas, but farmers still not making sustainable profits, the industry is at a pivotal stage in moulding it's future. Beef and Lamb NZ are asking for your views on the strategy ahead, share your vision for the meat industry with us as well.

A call for farmers to commit long-term support to a farmer-owned meat company for the sake of the industry has been echoed by Agriculture Minister David Carter, who has promised government help if structural change is needed. During a series of supplier meetings last month Alliance chairman Owen Poole pushed the need for farmers to offer more loyalty, saying a 30 per cent shift in supply would have the same benefits as a medium-sized merger but without any risk, extra costs or need for regulatory intervention.

Mr Carter said he believed part of the sector's problem lay with farmers demanding competition at the farm gate so they felt they got the best deal of the day. More loyalty was needed to help meat companies manage challenges such as currency, he said."There's a responsibility shifting on to farmers to deliver loyalty to the company of their choice on a longer term basis."

The Government would consider getting involved in the consolidation of the beleaguered meat sector if that was requested, he said in The Southland Times. While the Meat Industry Association and Beef + Lamb NZ meat industry review currently underway might lead to a "credible plan", Mr Carter said he believed the industry's structure would become part of that debate, even though it was not in the review's terms of reference.

The joint review might be enough to drive some meat companies into considering a future together and that might necessitate government involvement, he said."You can just sense the industry players realise the seriousness of the situation and that the status quo can not be allowed to continue if we are to have a viable sheep industry."


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Dead right boris. My company Alliance gets 85% of its stock from forward committed supply. Its insulting to be continually berated for this practice when in reality it is not very common at all in my experience. The supermarkets are getting their comupence now as they have killed the golden goose not just here but everywhere. It is now our turn to hold the whip hand!

Beware of the sting in the tail of David Carter echoing calls for farmers to commit supply to a farmer owned company and offering government help.  If that happened before you know it, the farmer owned company will be forced by legislation to supply their foreign controlled competitors, who only supply the export market, with lambs, mutton etc at a government set price.  That will be until the farmer controlled company's share is reduced to a set percentage, but dont worry once that level looks likely to be reached, Mr Carter will shift the goal posts and demand the farmer controlled companys supply share has to be reduced even more. And this will all be done in the name of farmers having a choice of processor and so that consumers (not in NZ) have the benefit of competition in NZ. 

Poor David Carter, he seems a most confused chappy.  He is trying to turn the meat industry in to a dairy-type structure, all the while, trying to turn the dairy industry in to a meat industry type structure.