3 Oct 2014

Widespread support for reform: survey

8:31 am on 3 October 2014

A farmer group pushing for meat industry reform says a survey of sheep and beef farmers shows widespread support for the call and they are prepared to invest in restructuring the industry around a co-operative model.

The Meat Industry Excellence group commissioned the survey of 800 farmers, with funding support from Beef and Lamb New Zealand.

The group has also been getting independent analysis done and chairman John McCarthy says one of the most signifcant findings so far is the cost of the industry's overcapacity.

"Early estimates are, the overcapacity is costing New Zealand farmers and the industry between $400 and $450 million a year. That puts all those other initiatives behind the eight ball.

"Say you've got a primary growth partnership, or you're investing money in this and that - you've still got to recoup that loss before you can actually realise the potential return on investment. So for me, that's the number one issue."

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