The pork industry has kicked off a programme exploring opportunities to extract more value from locally produced pork supplied into the domestic market.
The programme of work is based on new strategic priorities as part of year one of a three-year strategic plan for the organisation.
In the latest issue of PorkOutlook, NZ Pork chief executive Brent Kleiss said pig farmers face a number of challenges that are impacting the industry’s long-term sustainability.
There has been a contraction in the number of pig farmers as well as other headwinds including import competition, rising production costs, consenting processes and uncertainty over animal welfare and environmental standards.
Kleiss said despite the challenges, “the industry remains optimistic and committed to finding solutions that will enable it to not only survive but to thrive”.
One potential opportunity is to extract more value from locally produced pork supplied into the domestic market.
“To this end, the industry will actively engage in analysing the value chain from farm to plate to identify opportunities to increase farmer returns.”
This will begin with a review of the current wholesale supply model and engagement with wholesalers and retailers to encourage a rethink of how farmers can be rewarded in a way that drives desired quality and carcase characteristics.
“We will explore the development of new products that meet evolving consumer expectations and preferences.”
NZPork will also be looking into a research partnership with the Ministry for Primary Industries’ Sustainable Food and Fibre Futures (SFFF) fund.
“We understand that limited funding availability can be a significant barrier to conducting impactful research.
“By partnering with MPI’s SFFF fund and other industry stakeholders, we want to leverage our resources to support research projects that align with our industry’s longer-term goals.”
Kleiss said the strategic priorities will not detract from the importance placed on ongoing business-as-usual functions.
“Our strong focus on our advocacy and industry support functions in biosecurity, animal welfare and the environment spaces will continue as part of our service to farmers.”
NZPork is committed to working collaboratively with other industry players to achieve these goals.
“By engaging proactively with the industry, our stakeholders, government agencies and regulators, the board is confident that it can overcome new and current challenges and continue to deliver quality outcomes that benefit NZ producers, manufacturers and all pork consumers.”
Just under 633,000 pigs are produced each year in NZ with 34% of these processed in the North Island and 66% in the South Island, and with 85% of commercial pig production under the Born and Raised NZ PigCare programme.
The Strategic and Consultative Intent 2023 three-year plan highlights existing priorities – biosecurity, the animal welfare code and environmental and council compliance.
Areas of strategic focus are the value chain review, strengthened research partnerships and domestic commitment to NZ pork.
Other priorities for the industry are enhancing meat quality, keeping an eye on export and sector confidence.
NZPork’s full Statement of Strategic and Consultative Intent can be read here.