Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy has welcomed more success stories from the Primary Growth Partnership (PGP) scheme, with five major projects announcing breakthroughs this month.
“The programme ‘Transforming the Dairy Value Chain’ is helping to develop a patented technology for developing frozen mozzarella cheese in one day rather than the previous two months. Last week Fonterra announced a new $72 million investment into its Clandeboye plant near Timaru to expand production of this cheese.
“It has also helped DairyNZ and Rezare Systems, with support from Beef and Lamb NZ, to develop the ‘Pasture Growth Forecaster’. This is an online tool to predict pasture growth up to 15 days and two months ahead, which will be a great tool for many farmers.
“Earlier this month the Precision Seafood Harvesting programme unveiled a revolutionary new harvesting system, which has generated major interest.
“This aims to target fish by size and species, allowing smaller and non-targeted fish to escape. It reduces wastage and by-catch, and has the potential for huge economic and environmental benefits,” says Mr Guy.
“The New Zealand Sheep Industry Transformation Project has also made great progress with the new premium ‘SILERE’ brand to lift Merino meat into a luxury food. It was a major hit at the Waiheke Island Yacht Club pop-up restaurant in San Francisco during the America’s Cup with over 5,000 meals sold in just 12 weeks.
“Silver Fern Farms have also unveiled a new quality grading system for beef which will have benefits for the wider industry, thanks to PGP funding. The Farm IQ scheme has used 13,700 taste testers and farmers will begin receiving detailed reports on how their beef rates according to a quality criteria.
“It is very important for New Zealand’s primary industries to move beyond just producing commodities and into value added, high quality niche products. All of these products are examples of this in action.”
The Primary Growth Partnership is made up of 16 projects with $684 million in funding committed from both industry and Government. The projects aim to boost productivity and innovation across the primary industries, including the fishing, forestry, red meat, honey and dairy sectors.The potential benefit to the wider economy from these programmes is estimated at around $7 billion a year from 2025.