Meat & Wool New Zealand must show value for money

“Meat & Wool New Zealand (MWNZ) needs to convince farmers that increasing its levy is both justified and warranted,” says Bruce Wills, Federated Farmers meat and fibre spokesperson.

“The consultation document released by MWNZ on proposed levy increases represents the first phase of a detailed consultation process with farmers. Federated Farmers believes the most important issue to address during this process is the quality of the spend, rather than the quantity.

“Although the scale of these levy increases may have surprised some, it cannot be denied that farmers and the meat and wool industry are in desperate need of investment beyond the farm gate. It is here that we have the most potential to improve returns.

“Federated Farmers is mindful of MWNZ’s large expenditure on market development. This is an area where we believe meat processing companies are ultimately best placed to invest. As exporters deal directly with customers on a daily basis, it is these organisations that should be undertaking market development work.

“Innovation and uptake is another large spend for MWNZ. Money spent on science and innovation is vitally important for the future of meat and wool farmers. But here, MWNZ has a real challenge ensuring new science is readily and easily available to levy payers.

“Too many farmers are telling me they are unaware of what MWNZ does in this area. As a result, they do not believe they are benefiting from their levy spend. I look forward to these concerns being answered during levy consultations.

“Meanwhile, we strongly encourage all farmers to participate in the upcoming consultation process to make sure MWNZ’s industry investment meets farmers’ needs,” Mr Wills concluded.


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