The future of one of New Zealand’s most valued exports will come under scrutiny in Auckland next week when a group of selected panelists gather to consider The Future of Meat.

Prominent food writer, Nikki Bizzant, will MC the event which has been organised by Beef and Lamb New Zealand in conjunction with the Food Writers Guild of New Zealand.

The event, which will include Auckland’s plant-based nutrition advocate Dr Mark Craig, will be held in The Northern Club on Wednesday. Panel participants will each give a short address followed by questions from the floor.

The objectives of the panel discussion are:

  1. To bring together a diverse range of New Zealand perspectives and evidence to the current global and local conversations around red meat and its impact on the environment and human health.
  2. To provide a platform to highlight current New Zealand food production systems and future plans on how these are to change.
  3. To highlight the trade-offs and considerations of converting land / production methods from current agriculture to alternative foods.
  4. To highlight the trade-offs and considerations of converting to a completely plant-based (vegan) diet.

Panelists have been asked to prepare a five minute presentation to addresss the opening question: Where does red meat have a role in a sustainable New Zealand diet?

  • Participants have also been asked to equip themselves to provide comments or answers to questions that may come up. Such talking points could include:
  • Are the current red meat production levels sustainable?
  • Do farmers really care about the environment?
  • Is there such thing as a healthy amount meat to consume?
  • Do we really need to eat meat?
  • Does a plant-based food system provide a more viable future?
  • Can you see a scenario where red meat farming is part of the solution to a sustainable future?

The panelists taking part are:

Dr Denise Conroy, Auckland University
Denise is particularly interested in identity and how our sense of self shapes our consumption choices, how we allocate and spend our resources, and where we choose to focus our attention. Her current research is in consumer choices around weight management, both through group and personal effort and in acceptability of potential supplements, additives etc that may be developed to assist appetite control.

Dr Mike Boland, Massey University
Dr Boland joined the Riddet Institute in 2006 after 15 years in the dairy industry, first with the New Zealand Dairy Research Institute and then with Fonterra. He was elected a Fellow of the New Zealand Institute of Chemistry in 2006 and a Fellow of the New Zealand Institute of Food Science and Technology in 2014.

Dr Mark Craig, GP, Auckland.
Dr Craig advocates the use of a whole food plant-based diet for the development of optimal health in human beings. More recently he has focused particular attention on the use of a plant-based diet in the treatment and ongoing management of Multiple Sclerosis. He says the diet is preventative or curative of, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, prostate cancer and several other lifestyle illnesses.

Jeremy Baker
Chief Insights Officer, Beef + Lamb New Zealand Ltd

Angela Clifford
CEO, EAT New Zealand

Pictured above: The Northern Club, 19 Princes Street, Auckland, New Zealand

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