Farmers 'missing out' on higher income due to trust issues

Rural Exchange 08/04/2018

New research from Lincoln University shows poor relationships between farmers and their meat processors could be costing New Zealand.

Dr Nic Lees, a senior lecturer at Lincoln University, said improving those relationships was essential to New Zealand producing higher value products that meet consumer needs.

He surveyed over 1000 sheep, beef and deer farmers. These three industries together make up 12% of New Zealand’s exports and currently contribute $5 billion a year to the New Zealand economy.

Dr Lees joined Rural Exchange to discuss the findings of the study.

In a statement, he said New Zealand’s meat exports are “missing out” on higher market returns because of a lack of “commitment and trust” between farmers and meat companies.

“The majority of farmers do not commit to forward supply contracts that specify quality requirements and delivery schedules,” he said. “We effectively still have a system driven by production rather than market requirements.”

He says farmers sell stock based on their farming requirements and the number of stock and quality often does not match market needs.

Watch the full interview with Dr Nic Lees above.

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