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Working Group for Dairy Processing Sector Set Up

15 August 2014

NEW ZEALAND - A working group to develop a ‘roadmap’ on how to meet the future capability needs of the dairy processing sector has been set up in New Zealand.

Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy (pictured) said: “This was a recommendation of the independent Government Inquiry into the Whey Protein Concentrate (WPC) Contamination Incident last year.

“It found that our food safety regulatory model for dairy is among the best in the world, but also recommended improving people capability to strengthen the food safety system.

“The inquiry highlighted the shortage of experienced people with processing expertise across the industry’s regulatory sector, and at all levels of the system.

“There is a need to improve training and investment in dairy industry capability, and attract and retain the right people to become verifiers.

“We also need to focus on continuing professional development for those already in the industry.”

The working group will determine short, medium and long-term capability needs of the dairy processing sector and develop a ‘roadmap’ for the delivery of development activities.

The working group will be chaired by Ruawai dairy farmer and former Fonterra Board director Greg Gent.

It has representatives from the dairy industry, science and education providers, and relevant government departments and agencies.

The working group is expected to submit its final report to the Ministry for Primary Industries Director-General by the end of July 2015.

“This work fits in well with the recent report ‘The future capability needs for the primary industries in New Zealand’ which forecasts the future workforce needs of the primary sector,” Mr Guy said.

“This report highlights that employment in the primary industries is expected to increase by 50,000 by 2025 to reach the Government’s goal of an export double. Government and industry are committed to working together on this challenge.”

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