Meat Board - Where to?Wednesday, Sep 20, 2000
First hand experience of the of the UK petrol blockade forced a hasty but welcome diversion to the pleasant
countryside of Ireland.
The speed that a country was brought to a stop by a low key but well coordinated group of farmers and
truckers is a warning to the authorities and politicians. Lip service to listening to voters but
then choosing to ignore their concerns may not be a sensible political course in the future.
Cell phones and internet connections apparently gave the demonstrators considerable communication strength
without the normal rabble rousing wailing that accompanies the protests of NZ’s professional
protesters and now elected politicians.
The tools may now be available for minority groups such as NZ farmers to manage protest and persuasion
in manner that more closely fits with our standards of behavior and professionalism.
Mr Ackland’s proposal for livestock producers to revert to a producer board structure rather than
an industry structure has much to recommend it.
Millions of dollars of producer’s money has been directed over the years into the promotion of
meat as a commodity product. In an age where targeted promotion and focused advertising techniques
are well understood it is ridiculous that the meat producer still falls for the processor and marketers
claim that the producer should foot the bill for promotion of meat as a generic product.
A meat industry board that gave equal authority to processors and marketer over how the producers levy
should be distributed is ‘Alice in wonderland’ stuff and no wonder the processors want
to hang on to that influence.
Brands, branding and brand ownership is critical to the welfare of the meat producer. The sloppy relationship
in terms of promotional and market developmental expenditure between meat producers and
the processing and distribution channel is appalling. Branding maintains a continuing value in the
market place upon which success can be measured.
Where is the NZ producer owned meat brands and is there a benefit being derived from them?
Can any meat producer see a situation where barley growers or sugar growers would fund an advertising
program to promote the generic sales of beer?
Not likely! - Have you bought your flagon of clean green beer today?