Beef + Lamb NZ chief executive to step down
“I feel enormously privileged to work for New Zealand sheep and beef farmers and represent their interests here at home and in our export markets,” said Champion.
Just recently, he led Beef + Lamb New Zealand through the 2015 Sheepmeat and Beef Levy Referendum, which saw over 84% of the country’s farmers supporting their work.
“The Sheepmeat and Beef Levy Referendum results show that the work we have done as an organisation over the past six years has built a strong platform, engaged us strongly with sheep and beef farmers, and built an organisation culture centred on farmers.”
He said that this was the right time to leave the organisation and to hand over to a new CEO in order for them to guide the next stage of development and service delivery.
“While there is still plenty more to do, the strong and positive farmer response in the referendum has also set a clear direction for the organisation through the next six years. The organisation will continue to evolve through this period and it’s a good time for new operational leadership to drive that process, alongside the board of directors, from the start of this new six-year levy cycle.”
Champion joined the organisation in 2006 when it was known as Meat & Wool New Zealand. He served as general manager of market access and market development before taking on the CEO roles in September 2008.
He added: “It has been a wonderful experience to work with great staff and a great board, and to know we all want to head in the same direction.”
During his time with the levy body, he gained respect among his peers. James Parsons, Beef + Lamb NZ’s chairman, praised his colleague: “During my seven years as a B+LNZ board member, it has been a pleasure to work with Scott. He is highly regarded by all stakeholders, not only farmers. His integrity is outstanding and he has fought hard for farmers. The strong farmer-facing culture Scott has fostered in his team of staff has really built momentum in the last couple of years.”
The recruitment process for Champion’s replacement has already begun.