Attendees discussed nine remits received and heard about key B+LNZ priorities and achievements. A motion of no confidence in the Board, specifically for its involvement in He Waka Eke Noa, was not supported.
The annual meeting provided the proposers of the nine remits, which covered a wide range of topics, and other meeting attendees, an opportunity to provide further information and clarification to the Board before it considers the results of voting and decides how it will respond.
Outgoing B+LNZ Board Chair Andrew Morrison said the Board was committed to listening to the proposers during the meeting. “It’s appropriate that levy payers ask questions and hold the Board accountable.
“There were some constructive and robust discussions. B+LNZ always encourages farmers to speak up and get involved. We heard from some concerned levy payers, along with a number who supported B+LNZ’s positions, and that’s healthy.
“The conversations we had today were constructive and I have every confidence the Board will respond appropriately.”
At its next meeting, in a few days’ time, the Board will consider a range of factors before announcing its next steps in relation to the remits.
Under the B+LNZ constitution, the results of voting on the remits are non-binding, but are important in influencing future actions taken by the Board. The Board will take into account the results of postal and online voting, any in-person votes received at the meeting, and what it heard from attendees. It will also factor in voter turnout. A media release with further information will follow soon after that Board meeting.
As part of the meeting process, Southland farmer Hugh Gardyne tabled a motion calling for a vote of no confidence in the B+LNZ Board, specifically for its involvement in and support of He Waka Eke Noa. Under the B+LNZ constitution, the meeting Chair could call for the motion to be voted on by levy-paying attendees via a show of hands and was non-binding. The motion did not pass.
Before the formal part of the annual meeting, there were two panel discussions about key aspects of B+LNZ’s work.
The first was on how B+LNZ’s investment into research and development is helping improve producers’ profitability and position the sector for the future and featured Axel Heiser (AgResearch), Dr Nick Sneddon (Massey University) and Ginny Dodunski (Wormwise programme).
The panel focused on some key issues in farm systems and what’s being done to address them – facial eczema research, genetics and dairy beef integration, and internal parasites and drench resistance – but the discussion was wide-ranging on how these issues related to individual farmers’ systems, the interplay between genetics and the environment animals live in, and what farmers can do to improve productivity.
The second panel, on global red meat consumer trends and the trade environment, featured Greg McSkimming (Silver Fern Farms) and Vangelis Vitalis (Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Trade).
This panel challenged farmers to think about what they could do differently and how they could capture value from New Zealand’s product offering, including under the Taste Pure Nature brand.
Attendees heard that the world is changing but that there are opportunities to create value from that, by gaining a deeper understanding of consumer groups and by driving change. They also heard about the existing and new trade challenges faced internationally – including the enforcement of international rules, rising protectionism and social licence – and the need to respond to increasing scrutiny of action on climate change and verifiable sustainability credentials as trade deals need to be ratified by parliaments internationally.
The meeting was livestreamed for those who couldn’t attend in person and recordings from the day will be available on the B+LNZ website in the coming days.
For more information, please contact B+LNZ’s James Ford (firstname.lastname@example.org) on 027 235 9806