New Zealand product competition funding stripped back
In a statement to the industry, Sam McIvor, CEO of Beef + Lamb New Zealand, explained the decision to cut funding to lamb competition The Glammies, and “significantly” reduce funding to the 2018 Steak of Origin competition.
Following a six-month consultation with farmers, the levy board has had to review its strategy and revenue streams between now and 2022, with the conclusion being that it was faced with reducing income.
McIvor said: “Beef + Lamb New Zealand Ltd (the farmer levy organisation) and Beef + Lamb New Zealand Inc (the domestic marketing business jointly funded by farmers, retailers and processors) have partnered in the Glammies and Steak or Origin since their inception. B+LNZ Ltd has been the predominant funder.”
“As part of a strategic review, B+LNZ Ltd has decided not to continue funding the Glammies. It will also significantly reduce funding the 2018 Steak of Origin competition. While we acknowledge the competitions have been successful over the years and have done a great job of celebrating New Zealand’s farmers, producers and retailers, we think there are more pressing priorities that can more directly impact farmers’ bottom lines.”
The talks with farmers helped the levy board identify “key priorities for investment”. They are: improving the effectiveness of research and extension activities; developing and promoting the red meat story, domestically and internationally; protecting existing markets (particularly BREXIT) and opening and developing new markets; supporting farmers to grow their environmental reputation; advocating with government and the wider public on farmers behalf particularly to lower the regulatory burden; ensuring that activities have a clear line of sight to farmer profitability and focusing on fewer things and doing them better.
He added: “From a marketing and communications perspective, our key focus is on developing and activating the Red Meat Story both domestically and internationally, secondly on promoting our farmers and industry with the public of New Zealand to grow the industries reputation – a special area of focus will be telling farmers’ environmental story. As part of this, we will also be putting greater emphasis on a National Lamb Day promotion jointly with B+LNZ Inc. We accept this announcement will be disappointing for some people and we haven’t taken this decision lightly.”
Although Beef + Lamb New Zealand Inc will continue to run the Steak of Origin competition in 2018, with support from Beef + Lamb NZ Ltd and PGG Wrightson, due to the funding reduction, some changes will be made to the current format and Beef + Lamb NZ Inc said it will be in touch with entrants and partners over the next couple of months.