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Sheep Farmers' Trans-Tasman Relationship Looks Bright

A good trans-Tasman relationship is important for New Zealand and Australian farmers looking to increase profits in international markets says NZ Meat & Fibre Producers' Chair Ian Corney .

The New Zealand Meat and Fibre Producers Executive have just returned from a two day meeting in Melbourne with the Sheepmeat Council of Australia (SCA). The meeting was organised to foster a better relationship between sheep farmers in Australia and New Zealand and share ideas about how to grow the sheepmeat industry.

"The meeting was extremely productive, with both sides expressing that they found the opportunity very useful and that they are keen to continue building on this relationship

"Plans for a collaborative forum together with the American Sheep Industry Association to be held later this year were discussed. This forum will increase co-operation and dialogue between the US, Australia and New Zealand and could have lucrative spin-offs for New Zealand lamb farmers.

Environmental issues facing sheep producers, the Australian National Flock Identification Scheme and supply issues to meet global demand for sheep and lamb were also discussed.

The Executive was taken on a tour of some of Victoria’s top animal health facilities including the state of the art processing facility near Colac, the world renowned Australian Animal Health Laboratory at Geelong and the Werribee Meat Research Centre.

"A key point we drew from the meeting was that Australian and New Zealand sheep farmers face many common issues and a lot can be gained by co-operating with each other and sharing knowledge.

" New Zealand and Australia produce different carcass weight lamb, which means that the two countries are able to compliment each others' product in the international market.

"These discussions have paved the way for further collaboration between Federated Farmers and the SCA, which is extremely positive for sheep farmers in both Australia and New Zealand" Mr Corney concluded.

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