Executive Committee Update | Issue 183

Nov 3, 2022

Mark McCoard

As spring temperatures finally increase around the country, so too is the workload of velvet focused operations. Some early season contracts of limited volumes and grades have successfully established a pricing baseline over recent seasons, which have been on offer again this season. To date this season regular buyers have not yet fully entered the market. Hopefully the Mexican stand-off will pass and business as usual will resume.

We recently had our Branch Chairs meeting in Wellington. Given the range of issues that deer farming and farming in general is facing at the moment these established events on the calendar are critically important to ensure sound balanced decisions are made for the future of our industry. Given the difficulties the venison industry has faced over the past couple of years it was great to see that the board and the processors have a clearly defined strategy for the future ahead. All parties are acutely aware of the risks that the low venison schedule brings and are working hard to see positive gains being made as fast as possible.

While much of the focus at the Branch Chairs is industry related it is also a great opportunity to catch up and socialise with other deer farmers from around the country. A highlight of the evening dinner was the presentation of a life membership to the NZDFA to Paddy and Barbara Boyd. It was great to be able to acknowledge the valuable contribution they have made to both the NZDFA and the wider deer industry over many years.

The elephant in the room continues to be the proposed greenhouse gas regulation. The government has recently released their version for consultation after rejecting key parts of the primary sectors HWEN document. For deer and extensive sheep and beef farmers in particular, this has gone from bad to worse. It is vital as many submissions are written as possible highlighting the flaws and risks of the proposal which close on the 18th of November. I would urge you all to take the time out of your busy schedules and push back against these suggested regulations.

Interestingly, countries that have been implementing Carbon Net Zero policies such as these are now facing significant challenges with energy, food and economic decline. This has resulted in an increasing number of them replacing the governments responsible and throwing the policies out. We can only hope common sense approach prevails before too much damage is inflicted to our businesses and country. The NZDFA will continue to work alongside DINZ to ensure the best result possible for our industry is achieved.

The deer code of welfare is also out for review and again submissions for suggested changes to the draft document will help ensure that it will be fit for purpose for the future. Submissions close on the Thursday 10th of November. A link to providing submissions to the deer code of welfare will be provided below.

I would like to wish you and your families well for the season ahead.

- Mark McCoard, Executive Committee Member

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