Farmers are being encouraged to have their say on a New Zealand Meat Board (NZMB) proposal to continue funding the Informing New Zealand Beef (INZB) genetics programme and supporting a new facial eczema research project.

The NZMB is recommending contributing up to $700,000 towards the INZB programme and also providing up to $1 million for the new facial eczema programme.

“Funding for the projects is derived from investment income from the $76.9 million of financial reserves that we manage on behalf of New Zealand farmers,” says NZMB chair Kate Acland.

“These funds have two purposes. Firstly, as a contingency fund for the industry to restore international market confidence following a catastrophic event such as a Foot and Mouth outbreak, and secondly, as a fund for industry good projects. As part of this funding process, we’re required to seek farmer views so we’d really value feedback.”

Sheep and beef farmers should have received a joint NZMB-Beef + Lamb New Zealand mail-out with information on the NZMB online Annual Meeting on March 15 and the Board’s proposals.

Informing New Zealand Beef is giving farmers the right genetic tools to help produce great tasting beef and drive productivity and profitability on farm,” says Ms Acland.

“The programme is achieving its targets and is on track to deliver the $452 million return to farmers’ bottom line.

“Facial eczema can be a devastating livestock disease, affecting our sheep, beef and dairy farmers. The Eliminating the Impacts of Facial Eczema (EFEI) programme aims to equip farmers with tools, knowledge and solutions that can be adopted into farm systems to improve livestock health and productivity in the red meat and dairy sectors.

“Our aim is to bring some new solutions to this old problem, especially as more farmers are reporting facial eczema moving further down the country and into the South Island.

“There has been promising progress on a new commercial facial eczema test already in preliminary work. Dealing with the disease could become a whole lot easier if investigation into the development of a laboratory test proves successful.

“Dealing with facial eczema would have a profound positive impact on productivity by reducing disease-related losses, lowering costs, and promoting overall animal health and welfare. It would also contribute to a more sustainable and economically viable livestock industry.”

Farmers will also have an opportunity to provide their feedback on a resolution to increase the director fee pool for farmer and industry (processor and exporter) directors to $156,000 per annum from $147,500, a total increase of $8,500.

The NZMB has reinstated the Director Independent Remuneration Committee (DIRC). The DIRC conducts an independent evaluation of NZMB’s directors’ remuneration and recommends any adjustments.

The increase recommended by the DIRC represents a fee increase of the chair to $30,000 (currently $29,900) and for seven farmers and industry directors to $18,000 (currently $16,800).

The NZMB has been a cornerstone of New Zealand’s red meat sector for over a century, acting as custodians of industry reserves to support the industry in times of need and helping the country achieve optimal returns from beef and sheepmeat exports in international quota markets.

By the end of this year, the Meat Board is expected to be managing ten export quotas with an approximate export value of just under $3 billion.

Current tariff rate quotas* administered

  • US World Trade Organization (WTO) Beef and Veal 
  • EU WTO Sheepmeat and Goatmeat
  • EU WTO High Quality Beef
  • UK WTO Sheepmeat and Goatmeat
  • UK WTO High Quality Beef
  • UK Free Trade Agreement (FTA) Beef
  • UK FTA Sheepmeat (access to this TRQ triggered by 90% utilisation of the UK WTO S&G TRQ)

*Country specific TRQs allow a specified quantity of given product to be imported at lower tariff rates (in-quota duty) than the duty or tariff rate normally applicable to that product.

The following three TRQs are yet to enter into force

  • EU FTA Beef
  • EU FTA Sheepmeat & Goatmeat (Fresh/Chilled)
  • EU FTA Sheepmeat & Goatmeat (Frozen)

Farmers can provide their feedback on funding the programmes by competing the form enclosed in the recent joint NZMB-B+LNZ mail-out or by visiting the feedback page on the NZMB website. They can register for the Annual Meeting by visiting the registration page.

More information on the NZMB Annual Meeting and process can be found on the NZMB website


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