Home' Otago Southland Farmer : May 3rd 2013 Contents 3.5.13 Farmer
DAVID ENSOR MACHINERY
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Address: R.D.4, Gore, Southland Taege Web: www.taege.com
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call gathers pace
Change needed: Meat Industry Excellence Group chairman Richard Young.
By JILL GALLOWAY AND DIANE BISHOP
North Island farmers are backing the Meat
Industry Excellence Group's proposal to
change the red meat industry model and make
About 600 farmers showed their support for a
team proposing to have about 80 per cent of the
processing and marketing done by one entity --
-- at a Meat Industry Excellence group meeting
in Feilding late last month, after strong farmer
support in Gore and Christchurch.
The MIE group is chaired by Tapanui farmer
Richard Young and its executive comprises 18
southern farmers who are hell-bent on
changing the status quo.
Ohakune farmer and businessman John
McCarthy, who organised the meeting, said if
changes were not made to make farming more
profitable it would not attract much-needed
This was the chance to change the meat
industry and make prices more reasonable,
without the fluctuations of the past.
It was also time to make meat processing and
marketing transparent, and reward farmers
for their loyalty of providing a single meat
company with all their stock, he said.
Mr McCarthy said people were concerned
about the long-term viability of the meat
industry and that was why farmers were
turning up in big numbers to the meetings.
''They're really worried.
''There's real value to be added and farmers
aren't seeing that.''
Mr Young said the red meat industry needed a
united voice and it was vital that farmers
showed their support for change.
He said farmer pressure was the only way they
could bring about the changes necessary to the
Former Central Hawke's Bay mayor Tim
Gilbertson said the numbers of sheep and
cattle suggested the meat industry was still in
''We've got to get together, get tough and get
political. We need an MMP Farmers Party,'' he
Mr Gilbertson said while the dairy industry
was co-operative, sheep and beef farmers were
often rugged individualists.
He said that had been their downfall -- rather
than getting together with neighbours to have
a better meat industry.
One farmer said he was astounded at the
incompetence of the meat industry, which was
paying $8 a kilogram of lamb, when Western
Europe was in its biggest depression.
The meeting suggested Ohakune farmer and
businessman John McCarthy and Hawke's
Bay farmer Steve Wyn-Harris' names be put
forward as possible North Island MIE
Further meetings will be held in Gisborne and
Te Kuiti in mid-May as the group seeks a
national farmer mandate.
Keep stock green feed-
free before transport
Southern dairy farmers are being
urged to lift their game during the
next few weeks to help keep roads
and waterways effluent-free.
Many sharemilkers are busy
shifting cows around Otago and
Southland from now until June.
Otago Regional Council chief execu-
tive Peter Bodeker said the amount
of effluent spilled on the roads while
these stock were transported posed
unacceptable risks for cars and
motorcyclists, as well as nearby
waterways, which would be the final
repository for the effluent.
''Otago Regional Council has run
extensive campaigns over several
years encouraging farmers to stand
stock off green feed before transport-
ing them, and to let truckies know
about seven effluent disposal sites
around the region,''Mr Bodeker said.
The council was also seeking
support from the New Zealand
Transport Agency and other coun-
cils in the region to help install
additional disposal sites in some
areas where the distance between
existing sites was too great.
''We are concerned that despite this
work the situation has not improved
as much as much as it should have.
''We've responded by establishing a
stakeholders group to provide a
more effective collaborative
solution,'' Mr Bodeker said.
Project co-ordinator Selva Selvara-
jah said Federated Farmers, the New
Zealand Transport Agency, NZ
Police, the Road Transport Forum
and the Road Transport Association
were working together to find
solutions to the problem.
Federated Farmers Otago president
Stephen Korteweg said all farmers
involved in transferring stock must
ensure they were properly prepared
by feeding dry feed -- hay -- for at
least two days before transporting
If this was not possible then they
needed to be stood off green feed for
at least eight hours before cartage, to
reduce muck spilling onto the roads.
Leadership scheme for women
The Dairy Women's Network will
develop the country's first
leadership programme specifically
for women working in the dairy
industry using a $180,000 grant from
the Ministry of Primary Industries'
Sustainable Farming Fund.
Dairy Women's Network chair-
woman Michelle Wilson said the
organisation was thrilled to receive
the funding for the three-year
project, and was looking forward to
working with partners AgResearch
and DairyNZ to continue developing
the leadership capacity of New
Zealand's dairy farming women.
''Women make up 50 per cent of the
''The risks presented to the industry
through economic, environmental
and social volatility highlight the
need for strong leadership and skills
that provide dairying women with
the confidence to effect change,'' said
Dr Sue Peoples, from AgResearch,
will lead the first phase of the
project, which involves research to
ensure the resulting programme
meets the industry's needs.
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