Meat the Need
Project start: 14 May 2020
Project completed: 13 April 2023
MPI funding: $318,500
Industry funding: $550,000
Industry partner: Meat the Need Trust
Region: South Island
Meat the Need is a charitable organisation aimed at eliminating food poverty in New Zealand. The SFF Futures funding helped co-founders Wayne Langford and Siobhan O'Malley develop a non-profit framework for farmers to donate livestock to convert into meat for charities. The organisation acts as a charitable supply chain to serve existing agencies already serving the community. Since it was established, more than 1.3 million mince meals have been donated and 2.3 million milk servings. The charity is now self-supporting.
Biocontrol of variegated thistle: a feasibility study
Project start: 26 October 2021
Project completed: 28 November 2022
MPI funding: $54,375
Industry funding: $43,500
Industry partner: AgResearch, Horizons Regional Council, Hawkes Bay Regional Council, Gisborne District Council, Bayly Partnership, Tangihau, Pakihiroa Farms Ltd, Pauariki, Integrated Foods, Puketiti, Arai Matawai, Tairāwhiti Land Development Trust, Toromiro
Region: Gisborne, Hawkes Bay, Manawatu-Wanganui
This study assessed the potential for biological control of Silybum marianum (variegated thistle) in New Zealand. It conducted a field survey to determine the extent that current thistle biocontrol agents attack variegated thistle and a literature search to determine known potential biocontrol agents. The researchers also developed a population model to help determine which biocontrol agents would be most effective in New Zealand, and consulted with the herbalist community on their views on the importation of biocontrol agents. The study recommended establishing a multi-year, practical project to assess the efficacy of a range of biocontrol agents.
Marine, poultry and vegan salami project
Project start: 20 January 2021
Project completed: 31 August 2022
MPI funding: $306,000
Industry funding: $456,000
Industry partner: Aotea Organics Ltd
Aotea Organics developed recipes and new products for marine, poultry, and mushroom salami. They also produced new Sous Vide products from fish, Wild Goat and organic lamb and beef. Their Kiwi Kingfish Salami was a finalist in the 2022 New Zealand Food Awards, chilled category
At the end of the project, Tuna, Kingfish and Mullet salami were in the domestic market through The Produce Company. Salami trials were in progress to achieve quality after freezing and thawing for export markets. Aotea Organics had attained a level of 95% Assure Quality for Organic certification and were in the process of completing OMAR (Overseas Market Access Requirements) for Japan.
Gourmet direct dairy based rose veal production model
Project start: 7 May 2020
Project completed: 31 August 2022
Project length: 2 years
MPI funding: $364,000
Industry funding: $475,039
Industry partner: Gourmet Direct
Region: Hawke’s Bay
Gourmet Direct developed a scalable production model to produce Rose Veal derived from mature bobby calves. The project showed that it is possible to provide chilled Rose Veal 12 months of the year.
Gourmet Direct tested the meat twice to ascertain nutrient levels and produced a nutrition and health benefit report. The meat achieved AsureQuality certification for animal welfare and traceability. Gourmet Direct also drafted a meat consumption and Rose Veal market report and conducted research on options to better utilise the by-products. Currently, the volume of by-products is too low for higher-value utilisation.
Pig Gas: A greenhouse gas emissions calculator for New Zealand pig farmers
Project start: 18 August 2020
Project completed: 1 August 2022
MPI funding: $25,500
Industry funding: $19,500
Industry partner: New Zealand Pork Industry Board
This project developed a tool to estimate carbon dioxide equivalent emissions for the piggery operations of New Zealand pig farmers. The tool was adapted from an existing Australian model to suit New Zealand farming operations and emissions reporting data and criteria. It is run in-house by the New Zealand Pork Industry Board and based on surveys of New Zealand pig farmers.
Towards carbon neutral red meat
Project start: 10 March 2020
Project completed: 18 June 2021
MPI funding: $98,450
Industry funding: $370,640
Industry partner: Silver Fern Farms
Silver Fern Farms worked with a group of 17 farmer suppliers across the country to help them understand their own carbon footprint and where opportunities lie to optimise carbon stored on their farms. The information gathered in the pilot has helped to build the foundations for establishing and verifying a market proposition for low or zero carbon red meat from New Zealand.
Raw wild game pet food (not freeze dried)
Project start: 9 July 2020
Project completed: 17 June 2021
MPI funding: $12,000
Industry funding: $18,000
Industry partner: Merit Meats Ltd
This project aimed to produce ethical, sustainable, and healthy pet food products made from pest species, such as wild venison and wild tahr. Initial formulations were well received by US customers in the San Francisco Bay Area. A second formulation was developed based on feedback and market research to meet the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) standards for a complete and balanced pet diet. Merit Meats also tested a wider range of raw and air-dried products using wild venison and other feral protein sources. The company now delivers its pet food range to all states in the continental USA.
SmartEWE: Good mothers, greener pastures and better products
Project start: 28 January 2020
Project completed: 31 May 2021
MPI funding: $39,875
Industry funding: $59,813
Industry partner: Four Good Foods
This project established that smart tag technology can be used to continuously record the proximity of all animals in a flock to one another. This provides a decision support system that can match lambs and ewes on the basis of proximity, enabling the maternal performance of individual ewes to be assessed in order to drive short-term (more lambs from fewer ewes, better product quality), medium-term (lifetime benefits of good maternal environment) and long-term flock benefits (genetic improvement in maternal traits).
Proof of concept re the supply of 'Verified Sustainable NZ Beef'
Project start: 27 February 2020
Project completed: 19 April 2021
MPI funding: $176,500
Industry funding: $176,500
Industry partner: ANZCO Foods, Greenlea, Silver Fern Farms, McDonalds, Beef + Lamb NZ
This project used the McDonald’s supply chain to develop and pilot a verified whole of supply chain beef sustainability programme, covering farm to finished product. It brought together representatives from across the value chain to demonstrate how principles of sustainable beef production can be applied on farm and through processing.
Proof of concept report [PDF, 750 KB]
Sustainable beef – Video
Sustainably produced beef patties aimed to become new normal – MPI media release
NZ red meat sector – future proofing against climate change
Project start: 9 July 2020
Project completed: 9 February 2021
MPI funding: $149,500
Industry funding: $102,700
Industry partner: Meat Industry Association
The New Zealand red meat sector is committed to reducing its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2025. To support this goal, this project has calculated the GHG impact of sheep and beef products from farm to consumer using the current internationally recognised, scientifically credible methodology. This has created a benchmark and measures for future emissions reductions, in comparison to other global meat producing countries.
Carbon Footprint of New Zealand Beef and Sheep Exported to Different Markets – Summary report [PDF, 472 KB]
Free-to-farmer FAP+ Portal Prototype
Project start: 15 May 2020
Project completed: October 2020
MPI funding: $120,000
Industry funding: $120,000
Industry partner: FarmIQ Systems Ltd
This project successfully prototyped a new free-to-farmer digital portal to help farmers in the red meat industry learn about and manage their on-farm recording requirements to meet the New Zealand Farm Assurance Programme (NZFAP) standards. The project also provided technical specifications for the software build phase and outlined a potential business case for funding of the solution by industry.