[9 October/Rabobank]

According to a report by Rabobank, increased investment into the ethical and sustainable aspects of New Zealand’s red meat production systems could deliver a range of benefits to the sector. It said regulation of the New Zealand agricultural sector was set to tighten over the next year due to concerns about the impact farming is having on animals and the environment. It could pay strong dividends to the sector through risk mitigation and providing future market opportunities. Rabobank Animal Proteins Analyst, Blake Holgate, said while it would be a challenge, changing global trends and market requirements ensured there would be benefits. The three aspects of production that are likely to be subject to tighter regulations were environmental sustainability, greenhouse gas emissions and animal welfare. The report noted while improvements to the ethical and sustainable aspects of the sectors systems would incur a cost, improvements would help reduce risks. Mr Holgate noted increased investment would place the industry in a stronger position to negotiate future regulation.