[11 January /NZ Farmer]

Meat industry leader and CEO of Waikato based Greenlea Premier Meats has called for New Zealand primary and food producers to work as one to plan how the country responds to new generation food challenges.  Mr Egan made a call for a collective initiative to develop a common vision for the industry at MPI’s recent Food and Fibre conference and has recently commented that he believes that there is a window of three to five years for the industry to define its future before it has no choice to focus on responding on the actions of others.  Mr Egan believes that the government has an important role to play in leading such an initiative, a point that Agriculture Minister, Damien O’Connor agrees with, noting that the Primary Sector Council that he will be appointing soon will have that challenge as one of its priorities.  Mr Egan said a collaborative vision needs to be something that can be embraced by all kiwis as well as customers offshore, adding that the vision needs to be not just something that the industry believes in but something everyone believes in so it becomes part of the understanding of what it means to be a Kiwi and proud of our primary industries.