Media release 

New Zealand Meat Board celebrates 100 years of supporting export success 

The New Zealand Meat Board (NZMB) is this week launching celebrations marking 100 years as a foundation stone of a successful export industry. 

The NZMB was established in 1922 to co-operatively market products and negotiate prices and freight and held its first meeting on 17 March 1922. While its role has evolved, the NZMB continues to manage export quotas and financial reserves on behalf of the red meat sector. 

A focus for the centennial year will be the publication of a new book, Meeting Change, which picks up the industry’s story from the 75th anniversary and covers the transformation of the early 2000s. A book launch and other events to celebrate the centennial will be held later in the year. 

NZMB Chairman Andrew Morrison says much has changed in the past century but the central challenge remains the same – getting the best possible ongoing returns for farmers, the wider red meat sector and New Zealand.  

“The recent Free Trade Agreement with the United Kingdom includes transitional arrangements that will see quotas on New Zealand beef and sheepmeat gradually reducing over 15 years. These quotas will be managed by the NZMB with the same approach that’s built international trust in New Zealand over the past century. The exciting aspect though is that those quotas will eventually be removed, allowing quota free tariff free access to the UK market. The NZMB and its counterpart organisation Beef + Lamb New Zealand have played a crucial part in bringing that about. 

“The centennial is time to reflect on the important contribution our sector makes to New Zealand’s wellbeing. 

“It’s a chance for New Zealanders to acknowledge that sheep and beef farming is, and will continue to be, a core and critical part of our economy and our culture.   

“The meat industry accounts for just over 16 percent of New Zealand’s total exports and 92,000 jobs. Through the COVID-19 pandemic, New Zealand’s economy has remained relatively robust because of the efforts of the primary sector. 

“For 100 years, the Meat Board has been a critical player in this industry, working to capture the best possible returns for farmers and building New Zealand’s reputation for high quality products. 

“Over time, some of the Board’s functions have moved to other organisations, but it is essential to retain a body with a tight focus on managing quotas in export markets that earn over $2 billion annually.”  

The Meat Board also manages $82 million of reserves as a fighting fund available for contingency events, and the interest from these reserves is invested in genetics research. 

The Meat Board holds its annual meeting today (15 March), which will formally mark the start of the centennial year.   

A short history is available on the Meat Board website.  

The book Meeting Change can be pre-ordered from April through the website 

The first New Zealand Meat Producers Board in 1922. Standing: G C Smith (secretary), W D Hunt, William Perry, Adam Hamilton, John Fraser (general manager). Seated: Thomas Andrew Duncan, David Jones MP (chair), John Charles Nattle Grigg, James Simon Jessep and Alfred Ernest Harding MP.  



For more information, please contact:  

Sam Halstead  
027 474 6065  

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