The Meat industry Excellence Group’s first public meeting in Gore attracted around 1000 people.
A couple of days ago organisers were hoping for a good turnout at a meeting in Christchurch:
Chairman Richard Young . . . is seeking support to form a united farmer group with open communication lines to meat companies and other industry people.
The Christchurch turnout would give farmers a clearer picture of support for an opportunity that could not slip by, he said.
“We are hoping for a good turnout and the indications from our Christchurch people are for a strong attendance so here’s hoping. The models we have got are not working and I think there are plenty of reasons why so it’s certainly time for a change.” . . .
Before a disappointing attendance of between 250-300 farmers the Meat Excellence Group held its second national meeting in Christchurch.
Their aim was to get a mandate to negotiate significant meat industry change toward sustainability for all the red meat sector.
While all the main meat companies were invited, it was disappointing that AFFCO refused, and ANZCO was also a no-show but with an apology. However representatives from the co-operatives Silver Fern Farms and Alliance were in attendance and contributed constructively. . . .
Since the first meeting Gerry Eckhoff, who chaired it, has resigned from the group because he didn’t agree with the way it was going but he will be chairing a meeting in Fielding.
Ohakune farmer John McCarthy who’s organising the meeting says he’s not a member of the MIEG.
“I am not a member of their group,” McCarthy said. “Our aims are broadly the same. But I’d be more hard-line than them.
“I think we shouldn’t be chatting amicably to the meat companies…this system has let us down.”
When the would-be unifiers aren’t unified and meeting turnout is disappointing, the chances of getting enough farmers and meat companies united on future direction aren’t looking good.