Politicians chew over meat

By Alexander Speirs, Fran O’Sullivan

New Zealand’s red-meat sector has not been a picture of robust health in recent years.

While dairy has boomed – that’s until this year when China put the clamps on to cope with a massive overbuild of milk powder inventory resulting in Tuesday’s downgrading of the Fonterra milk payout — meat has stuttered with below-par growth and performance resulting in a dip in profits and confidence across the sector.

Now the politicians are getting in on the action, adding their voices to industry leaders who again want to put consolidation of the meat-processing sector on the agenda.

The metrics tell the story: Silver Fern Farms, our largest meat processor, made a loss of $28.6 million last year, following a $31.6 million loss in 2012. Alliance Group, second largest to Silver Fern Farms, made a modest $10.9 million profit last year after – more

– NZ Herald

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