At the Beef + Lamb New Zealand (B+LNZ) Annual Meeting, held online today, attendees heard about the key challenges the red meat sector has faced over the past year and opportunities for the year ahead.
B+LNZ Chairman Andrew Morrison talked about the red meat sector’s success despite significant challenges such as COVID-19 and paid particular tribute to processing companies. “It is truly remarkable the way they have handled the global supply chain chaos.”
Another significant challenge was the scale and speed of environmental policies that have come from the Government over the last few years.
“There’s still a lot to be done and while we have achieved significant improvements, there is no quick solution to many of these processes. They require consistent and persistent activity, getting incremental, ongoing changes that build to a good outcome for our farmers and the environment.”
He highlighted two areas to give farmers confidence that progress is being made – the issue of wholesale conversion of sheep and beef farmland to carbon farming, and work on climate change.
He noted that a critical factor in this progress was collaboration. “We consistently hear that farmers need us to work more collectively together, and He Waka Eke Noa is a great example of that to deliver the best outcome for the sector as a whole.
“When we work together we are powerful.”
David Surveyor, CEO of Alliance Group, was announced as the new Processor-Exporter Appointee, replacing Tony Egan whose term has expired.
Mr Morrison welcomed David to the Board. “David is well-known in our sector and also brings valuable experience from his career prior to the meat industry, so I look forward to the ideas and energy he’ll bring to the table.
“It’s no small ask adding this role to his existing responsibilities so I’d particularly like to acknowledge the willingness of our industry representatives to contribute.
“I’d like to thank Tony for his commitment over the past three years and wish him well for the future. Tony has great mana across the sector, is solutions-focused, and his contribution has been absolutely invaluable in linking the whole supply chain.”
David will serve on both the B+LNZ Board and the New Zealand Meat Board. The result of the Farmer Director election in the Central South Island, where incumbent Nicky Hyslop won by 1,863 votes, was previously announced.
“Effective governance continues to be hugely important in light of the ongoing challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, along with other issues such as access to labour and the deluge of new environmental policies,” said Mr Morrison.
The results of two company resolutions, to increase Directors’ fees by 3 percent in line with the annual CPI (Consumer Price Index) movement and to reappoint KPMG as auditor, were announced.
For the first resolution on remuneration, 56.6 percent of votes were in support, 35.2 percent were against with the remaining voters abstaining. Following this result, the B+LNZ Board will now make the final decision on whether to increase Director fees.
For the second resolution on the auditor, 93.5 percent of votes were in support, with 2.3 percent against and the remainder abstaining.
A remit from Tuakau farmer Tom Mandeno, seeking B+LNZ support for the inclusion of established trees as vegetation sequestration offsets in greenhouse emissions calculations required for farm environment plans, was also strongly supported by farmers and B+LNZ. It received 98.1 percent of votes in support, with 1 percent against and the remainder abstaining.
The next B+LNZ Annual Meeting is planned to take place in Taranaki in March 2023. “While it was good that farmers had a chance to ask questions throughout the online meeting, we hope to be back to face-to-face next year with a full showcase programme so farmers can physically attend this important meeting.
“There’s nothing quite like fronting up in person and we’ve had to cancel the Taranaki showcase twice in the past three years – so we’re hoping for third time lucky,” said Mr Morrison.
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