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Reform – not money – needed for meat sector

The National Government continues to throw good money after bad at the meat industry instead of addressing the fundamental problem of its dysfunctional structure, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says.

“The latest Primary Growth Partnership grant to the venison sector adds to the $170 million-plus of taxpayer funds already allocated to the meat sector.

“There are declining stock numbers and confidence across the meat sector and no amount of corporate welfare will resolve this.

“Farmers have financed their own initiative to investigate reform. Now the Meat Industry Excellence group needs funding to follow through with its recommendations.

“Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy refuses to assist the group but continues to throw money at their mates.

“The latest subsidy to venison will attempt to resurrect the Cervena branding strategy that was built then destroyed by the structural dysfunction and infighting that still exists today.

“Without reform the meat industry will continue to destroy our potential and New Zealand’s reputation of producing the finest quality and highest value pasture-fed protein in the world,” Damien O’Connor says.