Keep an eye out for Beef + Lamb New Zealand Annual Meeting voting packs

// B+LNZ

Voting packs for the upcoming 2024 B+LNZ Annual Meeting process will be arriving in farmers’ mailboxes over the coming days.

image of mail box infront of farm

Everyone on B+LNZ’s electoral roll will receive a pack, which contains all the information to help farmers have their say, including on resolutions and remits. If farmers previously received annual meeting or referendum materials, they’re on the roll and do not need to reregister.  

Farmers are being asked to vote on five remits, on New Zealand ruminants’ effect on global warming, policies on genetically-modified organisms, cross-sector consensus on climate change policy, low-methane sheep genetics and making all remits binding. 

B+LNZ Board Chair Kate Acland says she strongly encourages farmers to read the Annual Meeting pack contents in detail.  

“This is an opportunity for farmers to let B+LNZ know their views on the issues and areas that are most important to them. It’s vital farmers make an informed vote. 

“While the results of remits are not binding, any remit that passes is seriously considered by the Board, as shown by the actions B+LNZ took following the 2023 remits.” 

Acland says that while the Board is comfortable with the first three remits, there are two B+LNZ does not agree with and in response to farmer feedback as part of last year’s remits process it is providing more explanation about its positions. 

“We do not support a remit calling for a review of the low-methane sheep genetics programmebecause we believe there is sufficient justification for this work and we’re concerned about incurring significant additional costs on further cost-benefit analyses. 

“B+LNZ’s role is to provide a diverse range of farmers with tools to help address the issues and challenges they face on farm.  

“B+LNZ does not support the pricing of emissions and will continue to advocate for a review of targets based on the latest science. However, we believe it is likely that farmers will need to show progress in reducing their emissions at some stage in the future, whether this is led by the market or regulation. 

“Low-methane sheep genetics is one of the few tools available to extensive farmers to reduce their emissions profile should they need to do so. 

“There is significant investment going on in low-methane genetics across all ruminant species globally and it’s important we have genetic data that’s relevant to New Zealand conditions. Interest in the programme is demonstrated by the 5,000-plus rams entered for testing by commercial studs this year. 

“Ultimately, farmers have the choice to select for low-methane or focus on other traits as appropriate for their farm systems. Our role is to ensure the choice is available. 

“We also do not support a proposal to make all remits binding. Making remits binding risks significant change being immediately effected by a minority of farmers who may not reflect most farmers’ views.   

“The alternative is when a remit is supported by farmers, the Board then takes this out to the wider farmer community for further consultation before making a final decision.  

“We believe there are better options for agreeing ways forward on complex issues, and that farmer-elected directors need to be able to make decisions in accordance with governance best practice.” 

Farmers are also being asked to vote on a proposal to raise directors’ fees, following a recommendation from the Director Independent Remuneration Committee (DIRC). 

“DIRC’s benchmarking shows that B+LNZ’s director fees lag significantly behind other industry organisations like Federated Farmers and DairyNZ,” Acland says.   

“The aim is to align fees with these similar organisations and recognise the significant workload and time off farm required from a B+LNZ director. Ultimately, we want to remove barriers and encourage more farmers to run in the B+LNZ director elections. 

“The decision to propose an increase was not taken lightly. We know farmers are experiencing significant financial pressures on the back of weaker livestock prices and high on-farm costs.” 

The DIRC recommendation is a 'catch-up' year to bring director fees to the lower end of the industry benchmark with the recommendation for future reviews to be smaller and more regular to avoid significant one-off adjustments. 

Voting packs also contain materials for the New Zealand Meat Board Annual Meeting. While NZMB is a different organisation, with a distinctly different role from B+LNZ, the materials were combined so costs weren’t duplicated.  


Further information 

  • Information about the annual meeting (and a link to the documentation including the directors’ fee proposal and remits) is available at:  
  • Farmers with questions about the remits or directors’ fee proposal are encouraged to contact their local farmer director – details on this webpage
  • For questions about voting: contact the election helpline on 0800 666 035 or email  
  • To check if you’re on the B+LNZ electoral roll, or to register if you’re not: 0800 BEEFLAMB (0800 233 352) or  

For media queries, email or by phone on: 027 235 9806