These officials play a key role in dealing with government policy and are important players in our market access efforts; therefore it is crucial they are aware of how the sector operates and the current opportunities and challenges faced by sheep and beef farmers.
The Speak Meat programme provided the government officials with the opportunity to meet with a beef farmer, meat processing company representatives, B+LNZ Chairman James Parsons and B+LNZ/MIA senior management, to network and establish relationships. It also provided a chance to discuss the opportunities and challenges facing the sector and allowed the officials to hear first-hand about the impact of government policies across a range of environment and trade areas.
The Speak Meat visit included:
- A tour of a beef farm, outlining relevant environmental, profitability, commercial relationships and other farming issues
- A tour of Greenlea Premier Meats processing plant, including some perspectives from a senior AFFCO representative
- A visit to Ag Research to hear about current innovative projects underway in the red meat sector.
The Speak Meat programme provides an overview of the red meat sector and an opportunity for officials to gain an improved understanding of the issues facing our sector. B+LNZ and MIA plan to host two Speak Meat visits per year to reach out to as many officials and parliamentarians as possible, with the next visit scheduled for early 2017.