Business View Oceania | Volume 3, Issue 11

11 12 BUSINESS VIEW OCEANIA VOLUME 3, ISSUE 11 BUSINESS VIEW OCEANIA VOLUME 3, ISSUE 11 commercial companies that operate to support the industry after the farm gate. They’re the ones who process New Zealand’s red meat products and export them to international markets. This includes acting as an interface between industry and government, co-ordinating whole of industry services and facilitating policy formation on issues facing the sector.” Over the years, the role of the association has evolved to match the expansion and diversity of export markets. As the complexity of the market increases, so do the issues, both international and domestic, that members of the sector have to deal with. Ms. Karapeeva shares, “In the past, we exported to maybe 10 or 15 markets. Today, we export to over 110 markets around the world. So a lot of work goes into managing the demand that comes with that increase. We work with the government to break down trade barriers and to develop the domestic policy agenda. Sustainability and climate change also have a huge impact on our sector, and therefore on our association. We are incredibly proud to be part of such an environmentally conscious industry and will make sure it remains so.” In ensuring environmental best practices continue to be a focus for the industry, MIA works in collaboration with Beef & Lamb New Zealand, the organisation representing the interests of sheep and beef farmers. Ms. Karapeeva explains, “Environmental policies around water use, water quality, emissions, and discharge of waste needs to be science-based, and economically, socially, and culturally sustainable. MIA, alongside Beef & Lamb New Zealand, works to advocate for the development of an environmental policy that balances these issues to ensure that New Zealand maintains a strong, global environmental footprint.” MIA is a relatively small yet highly experienced team of nine. The association is based in Wellington, New Zealand, to better service the rural and regional areas in which many of their members operate. A predominantly government facing organisation, MIA supports over 40 members across three tiers: Exporters, Processors, and Affiliates. Ms. Karapeeva explains, “We match our membership offerings to the business plans and operations of our members. Our support for them is largely through advocation for economically, environmentally, and socially sustainable trade, but we also do a lot of work for positive market access and growth in the domestic sphere. We help to support and regulate halal processing, animal welfare, biosecurity and food safety, health and nutrition standards.” The support of continued research and development is a major priority for MIA. Science and innovation initiatives undertaken by the association include significant investments through MIA Innovation (Ltd). Investment is guided by the industry Research and Development Strategy, which was first developed in 2015 by industry research providers and government ministries. The Research and Development Strategy’s purpose is to, “Inform and influence government, research providers, and industry investment- ensuring collaboration, excellence, and alignment of innovation to maximise returns and benefit to the sector.” MEAT INDUSTRY ASSOC I AT ION (MI A) CEO, Sirma Karapeeva