NZ Dairy Summer 2021

76 | nzdairy DAIRY PEOPLE » Wayne Langford Farmers helping communities in need Richard Loader In the eighteen months that the Meat The Need Charitable Trust has been operating, six hundred thousand meals of export quality mincemeat have been distributed to foodbanks throughout the country. The charity’s General Manager and Co-Founder is Takaka dairy farmer Wayne Langford who developed the concept of the Charity with West Coast sharemilker Siobhan O’Malley. “It was a passion project really,” says Wayne. “It just made so much sense. It was at scale, it was something we both felt we could do, and it was going to have a pretty big impact on our New Zealand communities.” Wayne says the charity is really about connecting dots between the farmer/growers, the foodbanks and everyone in between, piggybacking off existing infrastructure. “We process about 26 million animals every year in New Zealand and we need about 5000 of those to put a mince pack in every food parcel in New Zealand — that’s about .0002%. So if we went to a meat company and asked if we could use .0002 of their time, packaging, freight and logistics to achieve those meat packs – wouldn’t that be a cool story.” Silver Fern Farms heard Wayne talking about the possibility of the charity and expressed real interest in their involvement 12 months prior to the Trust’s official launch during the first Covid lockdown in 2020. “Silver Fern Farms saw that it could really make a huge difference by just connecting a few dots and we are delighted to have them onboard. We got an overwhelming response from farmers, particularly from the South Island. Many parts of the North Island had gone through a serious drought and a lot of their surplus animals had already gone. Initially the farmers wanted us to focus on the regional areas and that’s what we did. The good thing about that is the local towns don’t take a massive amount to support. Then we can support our urban cousins. In total we supply about eighty-five food bank destinations, including thirty-five in the North Island. We launched into the North Island in October this year, having previously supplied one-off large deliveries to the foodbanks.” Wayne says the key to the charity’s success is keeping the process as simple as possible. When a farmer sends cattle, sheep or deer to Silver Fern Farms they indicate they want a certain number to go towards the Meat the Need Charitable Trust. A nominal value is taken off the farmer’s kill sheet and paid to the charity. That money is then used to pay for beef mince from Silver Fern farms once it’s all processed and packaged up. If a farmer supplies a different processor, they can supply a virtual animal on our website at a nominal value, which the farmer then pays to the Charity to be used in their food fund.” The mince is all processed, stored and shipped from Silver Fern’s Takapau plant in the Hawke’s Bay. “It’s one thing to have a bright idea like this but to actually see it being followed through and people going with it is very cool.” Takaka dairy farmer and Meat The Need Charitable Trust General Manager and Co-Founder Wayne Langford (above). A Meat the Need mince pack (below). •Residential •Commercial •Solar •Agriculture •Irrigation control •Communications •Freeview TV •Appliance repairs Office: 03 525 8150 After Hours: 027 681 0040 Email: Freephone: 0800 400 365 · Small foot print · No storage ponds · Fully automated · Low running costs · 0.25mm application/24 hrs · Low man hours to maintain · 60% fresh water savings · Fully patented system