38th NZDFA AGM Remits

38th NZDFA AGM Remits

2013 NZDFA DRAFT Remits 2013

Canterbury Remit -Passed
Draft Southland Remit
Draft SCNO Remit
Draft Constitutional Remit –re NZDFA  Audit process
Other AGM Information

1. Canterbury
Seeks support for the use of the Beef and Lamb NZ model of the Land and Environment Planning systems for risk management and environmental planning. That may well have a recommendation that the development of any industry agreed standards base should adopt these as a formal part of QA and Industry Agreed Standards.

REMIT: Passed at AGM 23/04/13
In order to minimise deer farming's environmental impacts (through nutrient and sediment discharge) into the wider community environment, the  NZDFA supports the principle of the use of individual Land and Environment Farm Plans (LEP)  based on land capability assessment, incorporated into best deer farming practices.

The NZDFA requests that DINZ adopts the LEP approach to environmental responsibility as part of the Industry Agreed Standards initiative.

DISCUSSSION:
As a mechanism to mitigate against excessive nutrient discharge levels, the use of Land and Environmental Farm Plans (LEP) should be adopted by New Zealand deer farmers as best practice. This can be achieved by incorporating practices to mitigate against excessive nutrient discharge levels into farmers’ operational plans. As part of a LEP, land capability assessment can be utilised as a mechanism to ensure the level of intensification is appropriate to the land class.

Intensification of agricultural production in New Zealand has been increasing over the last few decades. Although increasing agricultural output, intensification of our farming systems has the potential to negatively affect the wider environment. There have been some well-publicised examples of low land rivers and coastal environments which have been negatively affected with deteriorating water quality, particularly high nitrate levels and increasing levels of sediment and phosphorus.

As the awareness of this environmental deterioration increases, the pressure to take action and mitigate has also increased. At central and local government level this has meant an increase in regulatory mechanisms to control and monitor, along with proof of compliance of nutrient discharges from our farming systems. Although regulations and policies have been introduced which are ahead of our knowledge and understanding of how nutrient discharges behave, this in itself does not eliminate our responsibility to comply with regulations and act in a responsible manner developing and implementing sustainable systems through the use of best practices.

Environmental Court rulings and Regional Councils have indicated that even though low intensity systems, in themselves, are not discharging significant levels of nutrients. Sheer numbers of these farming operations are contributing to the wider issue. Taking no action is not an option.

Ultimately, our actions will be judged by the marketplace.  The New Zealand deer industry produces high-quality proteins and co-products for wealthy, sophisticated consumers who are the only ones that provide income for our farming systems.

Jeopardising these markets and increasing the risk of even more tighter regulations will be an inevitable consequence for farmers who fail to engage. LEPs are a mechanism to both protect farming business and the environment we all work and live in.

2.  Southland
Has particular concern re the NAIT tag loss at slaughter or in transit and/or the deafness of a small proportion of NAIT tags at slaughter. There seems to be no leeway or discussion re the imposition of the $13 Impractical to tag charge imposed on NAITS behalf by the processors. Especially when farmers are adamant that all stock were tag compliant as they left the property. The remit may seek some relief or establishment of the reality of the missing tag at slaughter.

DRAFT REMIT: That the NZDFA and DINZ negotiate with NAIT to institute a “NAIT Impractical To Tag levy (ITT levy)” dispensation for a small percentage of animals who have lost their tags between farm and slaughter, and further to ensure that tags that are non-readable at slaughter are not included in the ITT charges imposed by the processor on behalf of NAIT.

DISCUSSION
Observations from deer farmers in Southland report that there are a number of animals going to slaughter that are leaving properties completely compliant with the mandatory NAIT tagging obligations and yet, are reported as Tag Missing on the Kill sheet, advising that they are being charged for noncompliance (Currently $13.00 + GST) on the basis they have no NAIT tag recorded at slaughter. These animals are either losing tags in transit, or in holding yards at the slaughter premises.

NAIT have consistently assured farmers that they need not invest in any scanning equipment, if they chose not to buy scanners for use for management purposes, especially as 70% of deer are sent direct to slaughter.

NAIT has advised continually assuring that the processing companies will record the movement to slaughter on behalf. Farmers have been advised they simply purchase the NAIT tag, put them in the animal’s ears and advise NAIT that these tags are now live by registering them.

It seems to farmers that the only current practical way to avoid this potential dispute and significant unjustified cost is in fact to scan the animals onto the truck and send that file to the processor in advance as evidence of 100% compliance. (We understand that this is how the Australian NILS scheme works). 

That however is contrary to NAIT's own sales job around this issue and requires a significant investment in equipment and systems by farmers.

The current situation leaves the farmer without any recourse when a NAIT ITT levy is deducted on the basis that the tag was missing (Or deaf at point of read) 

Admittedly there is no proof that these animals have been correctly tagged except visually (ie freshly ripped ear at slaughter) and a certain amount of trust.

The Southland branch believes that suppliers that send animals that have been tagged correctly prior to transit too slaughter should not be carrying the cost of tags lost between farm and time of slaughter. Suppliers should not be obligated to purchase recording equipment to prove otherwise.

How do these animals pose a traceability risk if accessed on a mob basis and the rest of the mob is traceable?

We propose a starting recommendation for dispensation whichcould be relief for 1 animal in the first 50 supplied and 2% of animals supplied thereafter.

We believe that this will relieve this situation over the transition period and maintain good relationships between processors and farmers.

3. South Canterbury/North Otago
Have for some time been promoting that the industry develop its own version of the B+LNZ “Glammies”; not just a copy but an annual venison production systems champion from  the industry that combines the best of profitability factors, productivity, on farm management recording and record evaluation and use , timed production, carcase weights and quality, environmental management, faming systems, fit for purpose genetics and potentially prime venison carcase yields and taste tenderness etc.  There have been some localised attempts in other branches to try this in the past and this remit in development will seek to formalise this on a national basis, make it a whole of industry initiative and establish a budget and some basis to attract sponsorship.

DRAFT REMIT :That the NZDFA,  together with support from DINZ , over the next 12 months develop a template for a national competition for deer farmers based around quality deer farming systems* and venison production parameters**, to show case the deer industry’s commitment to excellence and its vision and pride in sustainable productivity and profitable land use. 

*(including Excellence in profitability, productivity, environmental management and responsibility, quality assurance programmes)

** (including growth rates, carcase conformation and yields, market fit and consumer appeal and eating quality)

DISCUSSION

The SCNO branch believes that there are many examples of excellent profitable deer farming operations within the industry, and that we too, like the beef, lamb and dairy industries should celebrate that excellence far more widely and publically than within our own industry’s programmes alone.

Example s from Beef + Lamb NZ’s  “Glammies” and  Steak of Origin, and the annual NZ Dairy awards competitions, suggest that these are highly sought after awards that show case and professionalise these industries in the public eye and national media, as well as creating an enthusiasm or improvement and commitment to best practice.

The branch envisages that a deer industry event should seek to cover all aspects of (initially at least) venison production (could be either or breeder finishers, or specialist finishers) from farming systems and management through slaughter and carcase processing to market ready “on the plate” consumer portions.

In time, perhaps in parallel and with consideration of industry resources and funding, specialist velvet production systems should be included. We see an excellent opportunity for sponsorship opportunities beyond that of the national conference, and a clear fit with the Industry’s emerged productivity improvement programme and the” more, heavier earlier and better “catch cry”.

The Branch agrees that this should be developed with its own style and character (ie not just a model copy) and be professionally managed and judged against an agreed set of standards and objectives, engaging expertise as required. The Branch believes the DFA national and branch bodies are well placed to support and encourage entrants and believe that resources and commitment from the DINZ Board and executive are also key aspects of this initiative’s development.

The Branch also believes that there may well be a role within such awards to be associated with the Annual national conference and associated events, that too will lift the public profile of the industry, add value and increase participation in these events and provide an on-going source of media and public interest in the deer industry and its successful current and future viability.

4. National Constitution REMIT
Suggested change to requirement for auditors in 2015 as a discussion point.  Audit costs and complexity continue to rise, being close to $4000 last year and somewhat similar this year even though we have been able to remove the additional complication around having to add the DEEResearch books into the mix. For discussion,  (and seeking advice from ex DFA treasurer, accountant  and PWC partner Don Gregson), we suggest that the constitutional change to move to an accountancy review instead of an auditor, or at least scale back the intensity and cost of the scrutiny (given that we have a robust system via Beef and Lamb NZ financial services contract.

 The Constitution empowers the AGM “to appoint an Auditor who shall be a member of the NZ Society of Chartered Accountants (now NZICA) for the ensuing year.”

If the Branch Chairmen agree, there is no reason why this year’s resolution appointing an Auditor cannot be changed to read:  

DRAFT REMIT “That the Executive Committee be authorised to make the appointment of a Chartered Accountant as Auditor, to carry out an Audit Review of the Financial Statements for the ensuing year.”

Other Conference AGM related events

  1. The Executive Committee will meet with the Regional Branch chairs on 7th and 9th May (NI and SI) in advance of conference as there is no capacity in Wellington to host a Formal meeting prior to conference. This will be a morning and afternoon event and branches are invited to send delegates, and table any major concerns or commentary ahead of the meeting.
  2. Conference programme (circulated to Chairmen this week) lists the best collection of speakers and programme we have had for some time, building on the Wanaka approach from encouraging others outside the industry to be engaged. The next steps in the PIP will also feature and  pre the AGM on Saturday 25th a detailed session with AHB and a technical programme are now confirmed. We have had a huge amount of sponsorship support, exceeding budget and we now simply require delegates. Hopefully the drought relief in the North with recent rains and attraction of the programme will encourage deer farmers to engage.
  3. The 2014 conference is destined for the South Island with Canterbury base as the logical host branch. We would be interested in any commentary and thoughts (including the Canterbury Branch) related to this, accepting we will have to commit and act early. The last Canterbury event was a single day AGM and awards dinner in 2006 that led to a fieldday at branch level at Lincoln University. I think it timely and appropriate that the 39th conference returns to the DFA largest branch if there is appetite for that.