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Integration And Collaboration - Key Tools for Meat Industry

by 5m Editor
5 November 2007, at 11:39am

NEW ZEALAND - Meat processors, marketers and exporters met with scientists recently at a two day workshop focusing on market assurance and research and development initiatives in the red meat industry.

A key outcome of the two days was an industry acknowledgement that research and development needs more integration and that collaboration was the way for the future.

AgResearch MIRINZ ran the two-day workshop in association with the Meat Industry Association (MIA) and MIRINZ Inc. About 60 people attended and were provided with a forum where they could learn from each other about how to be more efficient and ultimately produce better products.

AgResearch CEO Dr Andy West says that, "the workshop provides an ideal opportunity for processors, marketers and exporters to connect with researchers working with the meat industry."

"Consumers are demanding product functionality, quality, integrity and assurance and this requires an integration of research and development along whole value chains," he said.

Workshop attendees also voiced their concerns regarding the fact that funding for meat processing on plant research and development will run out in two years time.

"In a sector where the real benefits of the research and its subsequent commercialisation may not be captured by individual farmers and processors for some years any research time is critical," said Dr West.

Workshop topics included meat safety and spoilage, eating quality, animal diseases and traceability.

AgResearch's Food Safety team along with ESR and Massey University have developed a collaborative programme called IMPACT that is developing exciting new natural technologies to control the microbial contamination of meat carcasses. This new development will help to protect market access for chilled high value meat products in a "green" way.

Research has also been done on the development of the novel vaccine system based on the ORF virus for sheep measles and hydatids. A major limitation to livestock production is the control of parasitic diseases. These new biologically based vaccines will be able to replace other chemically based products and aim to be cheap, safe and effective. This project has been collaboration between the University of Otago and AgResearch.

Dr West says that AgResearch along with their Research and Development partner organisations are serious about trying to upgrade their commitment in the meat, diary foods and food ingredients areas.

"This workshop gives our scientists the opportunity to inform the meat industry about their projects and also to learn from the industry about what is needed," he said.

Dr West says at an international level it is imperative that New Zealand can produce better, more efficient and new products. To achieve this active industry participation in research is essential.

5m Editor