CEO note | Beef + Lamb New Zealand

CEO note

As part of our strategy refresh, B+LNZ is putting an increased focus on government engagement.
Thursday, 12 April 2018

Our goal is to back farmers on the issues that matter to you and ensure rules and regulation are fit for purpose and the time and cost of regulatory compliance is streamlined.

B+LNZ has traditionally worked with government to influence policy development, but often this work has gone under the radar. 

With a new Government and a number of policy changes signaled, this work is more important than ever. 
Over the last couple of months, either myself or the Chairman have met with a number of key Ministers and with Senior Leadership in the Ministry for Primary Industries; Ministry for the Environment; Department of Conservation; and Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

We’ve also met a number of MPs from the National, Labour, Greens and NZ First parties.

The main policy areas we have been discussing include the Government’s response to Mp.Bovis; intentions to move towards a carbon zero economy; planting of 1 billion trees; water quality; and trade negotiations such as Brexit. 

In each of our meetings, we have sought to understand what the government is trying to achieve.  Now we have a clearer picture of where the government is heading, we will be focused on understanding the implications for sheep and beef farmers and trying to identify solutions or ideas that could meet everyone’s objectives.

In order to have influence with government, we have to have a seat at the table and to achieve this we need to work constructively.

There are definitely going to be some challenges – particularly around the environment – but we also see some opportunities.  Our work on the Red Meat Story has reinforced the importance of New Zealand’s extensive farming practices and natural environment for marketing our products overseas. 

Consumers are starting to ask about the carbon footprint of goods.  Our initial research suggests sheep and beef farmers are in a good position carbon wise –  and we’re working hard on the analysis required to have certainty about this. 

Working proactively in these areas is closely linked to telling our story and ensuring we maintain our social license to operate. 

We will be working hard to advocate on farmers’ behalf over the coming months.