Meat & Wool Innovation   
Home Farm Tech Markets Training Quality Sheep & Wool Economic Service
NewsInnovation Magazine   Media About Us Links Sitemap
Home > About Us >

What is MWI?

A new vision

The need

Company structure/directors

Meat & Wool Innovation Limited (MWI) is a joint venture of Meat New Zealand and the New Zealand Wool Board.

Everything we do is focussed on improving the long-term profitability of New Zealand sheep, beef and goat farming.

  • We manage producer-funded research
  • We co-ordinate technology development, extension, education and training
  • We generate authoritative data about economic trends on the farm and in the marketplace
  • We help farmers respond to market demands
  • We operate one of the world’s leading sheep genetic databases
  • We encourage innovation at all levels of the industry

A new vision

Meat & Wool Innovation was set-up on 1 October 2002, bringing together the following organisations:

  • WoolPro, the former on-farm technology, training, market information and quality services arm of the Wool Board.
  • Sheep Improvement Limited (SIL), the sheep industry’s leading-edge genetic database, formerly owned by the Meat and Wool Boards.
  • Meat & Wool Economic Service, the industry’s economic analyst and commentator, formerly owned by the Meat and Wool Boards.
  • Meat New Zealand’s research and development division.

While these organisations had previously worked closely together, there are obvious benefits to be gained from having a single organisation.

As a result of this merger, sheep, beef and goat farmers now have a single organisation which is focussed on providing the technology and information needed to foster the long-term prosperity of the industry. In general, the services MWI provides are those which could not be provided by the private sector, or by farmers acting on their own account.

The establishment of MWI was part of a package of wider industry reforms. Farmers have made it clear they want MWI to add value to their farm businesses, provide services cost-efficiently and to be accountable, approachable and consultative.

MWI directors and staff have taken this message on board. They welcome the increased say that grassroots farmers will have in the funding and direction of the company under the Commodity Levies Act.

The need

In the last 20 years the government has stepped back from funding productivity research, extension, quality management and statistical services for farming. Increasingly the buck has stopped with the industry itself.

The producer boards stepped in to fill the gaps, but they recognised there was a need for a single organisation to co-ordinate technology development, extension communications, education and training. MWI is that organisation.

In June 2000 McKinsey & Co issued its report on improving the profitability of wool growing. This report and later studies highlighted a number of challenges faced by the wider sheep and beef industry. Among them:

  • The workforce was ageing at all levels, from the laboratory to the farm
  • Research spending was declining
  • Vital technical expertise was being lost overseas and to retirement
  • New and the best of existing technology was not being effectively communicated to students, farmers and extension specialists
  • Farming was being seen as a nowhere career by go-ahead young people

MWI is working hard to provide the industry with the technology, information and services it needs to reverse these trends.

MWI manages most of the farmer levy funds invested in sheep, beef cattle and goat research. It’s our responsibility to ensure they are used to best effect and that key technical skills are retained in New Zealand. All the research we fund is required to meet the strategic goals of the industry.

Having completed the research, we don’t allow the findings to gather dust. Our ‘package approach’ to technology development reaches out with the best of new and existing technology. We target lecturers, teachers, trainers and those whom farmers rely on for advice – like farm consultants, veterinarians, stock and wool agents, processors and exporters.

We also communicate directly to farmers through our printed and electronic communications, field days and seminars.

MWI works co-operatively with others to ensure a profitable long-term future for the sheep, beef and goat industries. Having regional offices at Lincoln and Massey Universities greatly assists that process.

Company structure

Meat & Wool Innovation is a private company, owned equally by Meat New Zealand and the New Zealand Wool Board. Its operations include the MWI Economic Service and Sheep Improvement Limited.

About 80 per cent of MWI’s operating budget is funded by the two boards using money derived from the meat and wool levies. The balance comes from user charges, such as fees for training courses, quality assurance and statistical services.

Managing Director: Mark Jeffries
Full staff list, with contact details




Copyright © Meat & Wool Innovation Ltd.

Home | Farm Tech | Markets | Training | Quality | Sheep & Wool | Economic Service
News | Magazine | Media | About Us | Links | Sitemap