Beef + Lamb New Zealand (B+LNZ) is undertaking a significant global study into regenerative agriculture to understand its similarities and differences to New Zealand farming practices, the opportunities for farmers, and a global consumer perspective to understand what potential there is for New Zealand’s red meat exports to extract more value from sheep and beef products.
The research will look at the market potential of regenerative agriculture; what it means to experts and the wider industry as well as Government, consumer and expert perceptions of regenerative agriculture as a practice.
Sam McIvor, B+LNZ’s Chief Executive says, “There is increasing interest in regenerative agriculture both in New Zealand and globally, and our farmers are asking us to lead in this space.
This stems from the fact that there is lot of confusion around exactly what it is. For example, much of what is considered to be regenerative agriculture overseas is the natural way New Zealanders farm already, so a key piece of this study will be defining regenerative agriculture, benchmarking those definitions against farming in a New Zealand context and what opportunities there are for different farming practices to complement what we already do.”
The study will tie together three perspectives; a consumer / market view, the expert views of those working in Government and/or in relevant NGOs, combined with B+LNZ’s farmer and processors’ views with the aim of releasing a final report by the end of 2020.
Sam explains, “We also want to understand consumer perspectives on regenerative agriculture, its presence and pricing at retail, wholesale and foodservice, what makes it appealing, and where consumers are getting their information from and how it is shaping consumer behaviour.”
“The study also looks at Government and expert views of regenerative agriculture as a practice, how it compares to conventional agriculture and where it sits within sustainability debates and conversations in wider society and within government.”
Sam says, “It’s important to understand whether the adoption of regenerative agriculture could have benefits to our sector through further improving our environmental sustainability work, offering a way of framing our sustainability narrative in a manner all industry relevant stakeholders (farmers, meat industry, consumers, regulators) can understand, and which ultimately captures more value for New Zealand produced red meat products, our farmers and New Zealand overall.”
There is significant interest amongst New Zealand farmers and we’ve already made contact with many but we’d encourage others with an interest in this project to get in touch.
For more information, please contact B+LNZ’s Communications Advisor Abigail Delaney on 027 209 9891.