With the situation around coronavirus (COVID-19) rapidly evolving, Beef + Lamb New Zealand (B+LNZ) is closely monitoring advice from the Ministry of Health and will keep levy payers updated.
To ensure the health and well-being of farmers and process workers, B+LNZ is taking a proactive and cautious approach around running events and industry activities.
B+LNZ Chairman Andrew Morrison says in these uncertain times, the sector plays a crucial role in underpinning the economy while providing nutrition to New Zealanders and consumers in global markets.
It is especially important that farmers and process workers look after themselves and those around them.
“If a farmer were to fall ill with COVID-19, there would be limits to the support available to help them on farm. Likewise, if a meat worker were to be found carrying the virus, it could disrupt production at their manufacturing plant.
“This is good opportunity to get in touch with your neighbours and make some plans to support each other.
“As New Zealand’s second largest export sector and the largest manufacturing employer, it is vital we take all measures to protect the red meat sector", says Andrew.
“So far, compared to many other industries facing the impacts of COVID-19, the red meat sector has stayed relatively strong. This is largely because the sector has 120 markets around the world
“Our industry, and in particular food processing companies, have done a great job so far at finding markets to keep exporting meat products around the globe.
“With China initially closing its market, meat processing companies redirected the products elsewhere. As China’s economy is recovering and re-opening its market, we are starting to take advantage of this again.
“But we are in uncharted territory and all sectors are vulnerable, particularly if our food producers or workers along the supply chain become sick.
“The coming months are likely to be difficult for NZ and it’s important that we look after each other and follow the latest advice from the Ministry of Health.”
B+LNZ will continue to keep you informed of any developments on this website at: https://beeflambnz.com/news-views/coronavirus-covid-19