The New Zealand Sheep Industry Transformation Project (NZSTX)
This programme aimed to increase production of fit-for-market sheep, support finer wool production, and use product differentiation to improve grower returns.
Programme start: September 2010
Programme end: June 2017
PGP funding: $16.8 million
Industry funding: $16.8 million
Crown funding paid out: $16.6 million
Estimated economic benefits to NZ: $250 million a year by 2025
Commercial partners: The New Zealand Merino Company Ltd
- Expanded market opportunities for fine and mid-micron wool growers based on branded contracts. For example, New Zealand Merino and Reda Successori released a $45 million contract for superfine merino wool, which is used in Allbirds wool shoes.
- Commercialisation of SILERE (a differentiated brand of merino meat) in a joint venture, initially with Silver Fern Farms and then Alliance Group.
- Established the Southern Cross nucleus breeding flock to develop a new fine-wool sheep genotype (with improved carcass, reproduction and animal health). In early trials, Southern Cross lambs outperformed traditional strong wool breeds in grower returns.
- Developed tools to help farmers address barriers to production of fine and mid-micron wool. For example, the FeetFirst project successfully developed a genomic breeding value (gBV) for predicting resistance to footrot in fine-wool sheep.
Outcome logic model
Outcome logic for NZSTX [PDF, 43 KB]
Final programme reports
Final Programme Report [PDF, 1.3 MB]
Programme Progress Review [PDF, 1 MB]
Background to the programme
Prior to NZSTX, profitability in the New Zealand sheep sector had been declining with:
- an over-reliance on volatile commodity markets
- a lack of product differentiation.
This had resulted in a significant drop in the number of sheep farms, as farmers moved to other land uses. Despite this trend, the fine-wool sector was performing relatively well and there was a need to increase production to meet future market demand.
The NZSTX solution
NZSTX aimed to shift New Zealand sheep production to 'fit-for-market' fine-wool sheep production by:
- removing barriers to increasing fine-wool sheep production
- making connections throughout the value chain, from producer to consumer
- using product differentiation and direct supply contracts to get better grower returns.
Audit and progress reports
Audit – NZSTX [PDF, 1.1 MB]
Progress review report – NZSTX [PDF, 486 KB]