23 Aug 2013

Meat industry reforms this year unlikely

6:35 am on 23 August 2013

The chances of getting any big meat industry changes in place for the new season are looking increasingly unlikely, as meat companies continue talks on where they might head with restructuring.

The meat industry excellence group, which is pushing for reforms to create a more consolidated and profitable sector, has set up a formal body and appointed a couple of business and legal advisors.

But it's waiting on meat companies now to see if they come up with any workable solutions from on-going talks.

The discussions initially involved the four big processors and exporters, Silver Fern Farms, Alliance, AFFCO and ANZCO.

But they have been expanded to include a wider group of companies who are meeting for further talks on Friday.

Beef + Lamb New Zealand chair Mike Petersen said the next move is up to the companies.

He said an enduring solution for meat industry reform has to be agreed to by the companies.

Mr Petersen said it's about trying to get agreement amongst a very wide group of participating companies which all have their own particular interests in the industry.

He said it's increasingly unlikely that there will be anything in place for the start of the new season which will mean remaining with the status quo.

Mr Petersen said Beef + Lamb is urging the companies to let them know one way or another whether there is likely to be agreement or not.