The highs and lows of selling climate-friendly meat

Author
The Country,
Publish Date
Thu, 17 Sep 2020, 3:19PM
File photo / Steve Davidson

The highs and lows of selling climate-friendly meat

Author
The Country,
Publish Date
Thu, 17 Sep 2020, 3:19PM

There are benefits for farmers selling climate-friendly meat - if consumers are willing to pay for it, says Rabobank's Senior Animal Proteins Analyst, Angus Gidley-Baird.

A recent survey across the US and UK showed that 88 per cent of customers would like more environmentally-friendly products. However, this didn't necessarily mean they wanted higher prices.

"The classic problem though is that you can ask these questions and everyone will say yes that's what we want - but are they going to be willing to pay for it?" Gidley-Baird told The Country's Jamie Mackay.

It was a dilemma Gidley-Baird has examined in his upcoming report, Selling climate friendly meat.

"The challenge with reduced-emissions meat is that it's effectively the same thing as conventional stuff - so the consumer can't necessarily tell any quality difference in the product."

"It's really about those social benefits and whether or not that means they're willing to pay a premium for an individual product - for something that's going to create a community-wide benefit."

While Rabobank was "less convinced" this was going to occur, the bank still believed there were a lot of opportunities for brands, food service providers and supermarkets to "tag on" these environmental credentials, and form "a product suite" that the consumer would be attracted to, Gidley-Baird said.

That meant there were also opportunities for New Zealand farmers, as part of the red meat supply chain.

"Whether it be their own on-farm stuff, where they're reducing some of the inefficiencies of production - because that's what methane is - it's a by-product - to actually getting access to new markets, because you've got supply chain partners targeting particular consumer segments," Gidley-Baird said.

Also in today's interview: Sydney-based Gidley-Baird gave a brief update on the Australian sheep and beef market.

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