14 Nov 2013

Farming leader not put off by lack of meat company agreement

9:53 am on 14 November 2013

The failure of meat companies to reach agreement on restructuring hasn't fazed the farmer heading the group campaigning for meat industry reforms.

John McCarthy.

John McCarthy. Photo: SUPPLIED

The major companies have been discussing ways of co-ordinating meat processing and marketing to make the industry more profitable but after months of talking, there have been no signs of any sort of agreement.

Meat Industry Excellence group chair John McCarthy says he did not expect the companies would be able to find solutions.

He says it illustrates the failed model within the meat industry. "When you have 26 or 30 different players, with different agendas and different companies' balance sheets and programmes, how are you going to reach an agreement? It's virtually impossible, it's like sort of herding cats."

Mr McCarthy says the Meat Industry Excellence group will continue its campaign to consolidate the meat industry by pushing for the merger of the two big co-operatives, Silver Fern Farms and the Alliance Group, as the first step.