[26 February/National Business Review]

New Zealand’s largest farmer Landcorp has been given assurance the new government won’t proceed with a National Party plan to sell many of its farms to young farmers. The policy was announced by the National Government during the election campaign, giving SOE’s Chairwoman, Traci Houpapa, only four hours’ notice of its intention. She said that Landcorp had been transforming over the past four years with a focus on value-add over volume by selling high-quality products. Landcorp highlighted the changes to health and safety at the forefront of what the organisation does and to take an industry lead on it. CEO, Steven Carden, emphasised that Landcorp doesn’t exist to be divided up and sold as it has the role of the country’s largest farmer. Their two main strategies are ensuring the animal protein it produces is as valuable as possible, and investigating a move into plant proteins by planting crops on some of its farms.