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Opportunities for the NZ pork industry to compete with imports.

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Executive Summary

The aim of this report is to identify opportunities for the NZ pork producers to compete with continued and increase imported pork. The three main areas I have investigated are “WHY?” we need to compete. I investigate the reasons for the increase concentrating on pork production in relation to population data. I studied the imported product, its origin and its form and where it is used. I look at the “WHAT?” we need to compete on. Looking at the drivers for purchase and finally I analyse the attributes of pork, such as price quality, welfare and sustainability to see if we “CAN” compete imports.

The main findings of the report are:

  • Increased population growth
  • Forecast population growth
  • Stagnant domestic pork production
  • Lack of convenient pork products
  • Pork is an affordable protein option
  • Need to find alternative pig feed solutions

My initial thoughts were that this report was always going to be a price comparison and that because imported pork is considered cheaper NZ produced pork would never be able to compete. I have been surprised to find the strong correlation of population growth to increased consumption of imported pork. It has been a positive to see the reliability of predicted population forecasts. I believe this offers NZ pork producers real certainty if they choose to make a positive change.

The aspect of convenience is an area that producers have much less ability to impact but it is an area of particular significance, if they can offer a convenient and affordable product to millennial consumers. NZ pork producers must find ways to form strong relationships with processors, manufacturers and the hospitality sectors.

At times it has been daunting to look at the volume of domestic pork production that is needed to maintain the current position let alone improve it. It is imperative that the industry moves forward and strengthen its position. Pork producers can be positive when they look at this problem as solid progress has been made in welfare, quality and sustainability. There are traceability capabilities within the supply chain and the NZ consumer wants NZ pork. The pig is an animal that has the fantastic ability to turn products that humans can’t eat into something they can. Pig productivity whilst continually improving is not be enough to solve this problem. In the future NZ pork producers must become a more significant industry. With that they will become a significant threat if biosecurity is not maintained at the borders and rather than the industry that can be sacrificed it will be one to be protected. So NZ pork industry you maybe a small group of producers but you are powerful.

Around 95 NZ pork producers:

  • Feed 1.963 million people
  • On average feed over 20,000 New Zealanders each
  • Produce over 82 million meals each year

My recommendation is for the industry to work together and grow. Grow in size, grow in numbers and become an industry that grows rural New Zealand and grows New Zealand.

How Can NZ Pork Compete With Imports – Helen Andrews