14 January 2014 | Gurjit Degun
New Zealand farmers believe that some meat companies are “enticing stock” away from other firms by offering more money than paid to loyal suppliers.
Meat Industry Excellence (MIE), which represents sheep and beef farmers, has called on meat companies to “walk the talk” over the fairness and transparency of their procurement practices.
MIE chairman John McCarthy said: “Our members are receiving reports alleging that [meat] companies are enticing stock away from other companies with deals over and above those paid to their signed-up loyal suppliers. If this is proven, then it is unacceptable and adds to the lack of trust that so blights our industry.
He added: “This situation also highlights the underlying issue of severe overcapacity that plagues the industry which, essentially, is in survival mode. Unless we can improve profitability at all levels of the red meat sector, and quickly, then we are in for a train wreck that can only be exacerbated by the shrinking supply base due to the continuation of land use change.”