More than 8,000 farm businesses are now signed up to the New Zealand Farm Assurance (NZFAP) programme – along with several red meat and wool companies.
New Zealand Farm Assurance Incorporated (NZFAI) chair Nick Beeby outlined the growth in membership over the past year at the NZFAI annual general meeting in Wellington on Thursday 19 May.
The number of NZFAP-registered suppliers has grown by more than 700 and the number of businesses has more than doubled in the last year.
“There are now more than 40 red meat and wool companies and industry organisations working together for the good of the primary sector and that can only be a good thing,” said Beeby.
He said that’s important because the opportunities and challenges facing the sector are greater than any singular organisation can face on its own.
A key priority over the past year had been to engage with the wider wool and dairy sectors to grow membership and cover a wider number of farmers and animals.
“It has been rewarding to see 23 wool companies seek and gain membership over the year. Ultimately, NZFAI is delivering. We are increasing the number of registered farmers and reducing duplication, the number of audits and costs across the industry.”
Megan Mounsey-Smith, general manager of NZFAI, said other key priorities included ensuring all its standards were fit for purpose and future proofed, with the latest version of the NZFAP rolled out in October and the new voluntary on-farm standard NZFAP Plus going live.
“We now have an independently audited standard, which ensures we are future focused and that our farmers and meat companies can be recognised as global leaders in the growing conscious consumerism trend.”
Mounsey-Smith said that in a recent Beef + Lamb New Zealand survey of 500 farmers, 38% indicated interest in becoming NZFAP Plus certified.
A programme is also due to get underway to digitise the organisation’s assurance process to ensure seamless transfer of data across supply chains.
“Being future focused is not just about the standards, but about how we collect and receive supporting audit evidence, making the process as easy as possible for farmers and auditors, and ensuring our members can extract as much value from the market as possible.”