NZFAP+ trial shows New Zealand’s sustainably produced beef across entire supply chain

// International Trade

A year-long trial of the New Zealand Farm Assurance Programme Plus (NZFAP+) standards on farms and right through the entire supply chain shows New Zealand’s sustainable difference can be independently verified through the programme.

image of cattle grazing

Verifying sustainability

The project was co-funded by Beef + Lamb New Zealand (B+LNZ), ANZCO Foods, Silver Fern Farms and McDonalds, in partnership with the Ministry for Primary Industries’ (MPI’s) Sustainable Food & Fibre Futures (SFFF) fund and involved six farms across Aotearoa.

By using McDonald’s supply chain as a test case, the project aimed to develop a model for producing independently verified sustainable beef by testing NZFAP+ standards. 

Grant Bunting, New Zealand Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (NZRSB) Chairman says the project shows that all aspects of the supply chain can prove they meet a basis for sustainable practice, from farm to processor to market, and it’s especially significant to have this independently verified.

“It’s really encouraging to have three independent meat processing companies, an industry body, a huge global cooperation like McDonalds, and six farms work together on this project over the last year and it’s a nod to the future of cross-sector collaboration,” says Grant.

The pilot focused on the sustainable principles of economic, environmental, and social responsibility. It involved an independent audit and verification of the supply chain’s sustainability, including on-farm, meat processing and patty production. It also aimed to address the stakeholder expectations identified in the Red Meat Profit Partnership and New Zealand Roundtable for Sustainable Beef materiality studies, completed in 2019. These priorities included water quality and water use, animal welfare, and on-farm environmental management.

“Many of New Zealand farmers’ practices are already sustainable and we hope that over time these practices will be adopted as the new norm,” says Grant.

Nick Beeby, B+LNZ’s General Manager Market Development says NZFAP+ and the B+LNZ Farm Plan are designed to be closely aligned, so that when farmers do the farm plan they are also able to meet their consumer assurance needs.  

“If you want to see NZFAP+ in action, come along to B+LNZ’s Annual Meeting & Showcase in Southland in March as we are visiting a NZFAP+ pilot farm  Roslyn Downs,” says Nick.

Consumers want sustainability

It’s becoming more common that consumers want confidence backed by evidence that their products are good for them and good for the environment.

Grant says, “The trial shows that those who opt into the NZFAP+ standard will be able to claim their product is truly sustainable.”

McDonalds says it is proud to play a role in moving the industry further towards sustainable practices.

Dave Howse, Managing Director McDonald’s Restaurants NZ says, “More and more our customers are asking us how our beef is produced.”

“We need to change and evolve with the times and we also need to lead – and sustainability is one of those areas where we really feel we can work with industry to move things forward.”

More information about NZFAP+

NZFAP+ complements and builds on the existing Farm Assurance Programme with three additional components: Farm Environment, People, and Biosecurity. It has been designed to protect and enhance all resources, create better and more sustainable farming businesses, and incorporate socially responsible and ethical practices. This programme is expected to be rolled out more widely in May.

NZFAP+ will be a voluntary programme in which farmers can choose to opt in and be a part of.

Check out the official NZFAP website.

More information about the project