NZ Meat Board Boosts Beef + Lamb Projects with $1.7M Investment
Sheep & Beef
Sheep & Beef

NZ Meat Board Boosts Beef + Lamb Projects with $1.7M Investment

In a move set to invigorate New Zealand's red meat sector, the New Zealand Meat Board (NZMB) has unveiled a substantial funding injection into two pivotal projects led by Beef + Lamb New Zealand.

With a commitment of up to $700,000 earmarked for the Informing New Zealand Beef Genetics Project (INZB) and an additional $1 million allocated to the Eliminating Facial Eczema Impacts (EFEI) program, the NZMB aims to catalyse transformative advancements within the industry.

Kate Acland, Chair of the NZMB, underscored the tangible benefits these investments would deliver to red meat producers nationwide. 

"This funding boost from the NZMB will help both INZB and EFEI drive major productivity gains behind the farm-gate for thousands of sheep, beef, and dairy farmers across the country," she said.

The INZB initiative is slated to equip farmers with cutting-edge beef genetics tools, poised to elevate productivity and profitability on farms. 

"It is on track to achieve its goals of boosting the sector’s profits by $460 million over the next 25 years," Acland noted, highlighting the substantial long-term impact envisioned by the project.

Concurrently, the EFEI program sets its sights on combating the debilitating livestock disease, Facial Eczema, while concurrently enhancing productivity within the red meat and dairy sectors. 

"The EFEI program aims to equip farmers with tools, knowledge, and solutions that can be adopted to combat this devastating livestock disease."

Emphasising the NZMB's pivotal role in steering industry growth, Acland clarified the board's function. 

"The NZMB has three key roles," she elucidated. 

"One is to achieve the best possible ongoing returns from sheepmeat and beef exports to international quota markets." 

Presently, the NZMB oversees $2.6 billion of red meat exports to key markets such as the European Union, United Kingdom, and United States, resulting in significant tariff savings for the sector.

Moreover, Acland highlighted the NZMB's stewardship of substantial farmer reserves, currently standing at $79 million. These reserves serve as a contingency fund poised to aid New Zealand in re-entering export markets in the event of a biosecurity incursion or disruption in quota markets.

Over the past two decades, interest from these reserves has fueled a slew of industry-transforming projects. Noteworthy endeavours include major investments in sheep genetics, the pastoral genomics program, early funding of the National Animal Identification and Tracing (NAIT) scheme, and initiatives aimed at enhancing meat processing efficiency and product quality.

The NZMB's decision to allocate funding towards INZB and EFEI projects stemmed from robust consultation with industry stakeholders. Acland disclosed that over 70% of sheep and beef farmers who participated in the consultation voiced support for continuing to fund the INZB, with over 75% advocating for the provision of up to $1 million towards the EFEI.

With these strategic investments, the NZMB and Beef + Lamb New Zealand are poised to spearhead a new era of innovation and growth within New Zealand's red meat sector, fortifying its position as a global leader in sustainable agriculture.