WELLINGTON, N.Z. — Dairy farmers’ investment via New Zealand’s beef levy is buying them a range of outcomes in research and development, trade access and market development, according to Meat & Wool New Zealand.

The organization’s recently released Levy Proposal for 2010-2015 signals a continuation of work in these areas, which is positive for dairy farmers, said Dr. Scott Champion, chief executive. A beef levy is collected at slaughter on all cull cows and an average dairy farmer currently pays US$143 a year in beef levies to Meat & Wool New Zealand.

"Meat & Wool New Zealand is working for dairy farmers in trade policy activities to protect and improve New Zealand’s access for beef to the U.S., Canada, the E.U. and the increasingly important North Asian markets of Japan, Korea, Taiwan and China."

"The U.S. still takes over 50% of New Zealand’s beef exports, however, and much of this is manufacturing beef, including a significant supply of beef from the dairy sector," Dr. Champion said. "America hasn’t lost its love of the hamburger and the fast-food sector has been particularly strong, as people look for cheaper eating out options in the tough economic environment in the U.S. It’s important for us to protect this market."

The dairy sector’s investment via the beef levy also provides dairy farmers with research and tools for improving both dairy farming and the beef production from their dairy farm, he added.

Dr. Tim Mackle, DairyNZ chief executive, said DairyNZ and Meat & Wool New Zealand are investing together in three collaborative research projects: Pastoral Genomics, Johne’s Disease Research and Pastoral Greenhouse Gas Research.