Meat industry not govt’s business

Primary Industry Minister Nathan Guy said solutions to meat industry problems must come from the sector, not government:

. . .My role as Minister is to listen to, to act on behalf of, and to support, this sector.

So I now publicly reiterate statements that I have made in a variety of forums. If a significant portion of the sector, and this means across the whole sector come together with a solution of how they want to better the industry, my door is open. I will listen and I will do what I can to support the sector.

Any substantial change needs to come with a very clear and very broad level of support. I am not prepared to interfere in the structure of a sector without the support of that sector. The Government doesn’t own the industry – you do.

I doubt that anyone in this room wants the heavy hand of government dreaming up bureaucratic solutions that haven’t come from the ground up.

This is an industry where farmers can have a say. For example, the two farmer run cooperatives have over 50% market share in New Zealand.

It seems very clear to me that if an overwhelming majority of people want change, there is the ability to bring it about. . .

There is no consensus in the sector and whatever the problems facing the meat industry, government intervention isn’t the answer.

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