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NZ goat industry veteran blames failure of Aussie trader for demise of export business

Wednesday 22nd March 2017

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 Alan Mitchell, a veteran of the goat breeding and goat meat industry, blames a failed Australian trading company for the demise of his export business, according to a liquidators' report.

Taupo-based GoatNZ was put into liquidation on Feb. 7 after 14 years in business first as a procurer and exporter of goat meat and from 2011 as an export broker of goat meat. Creditors include Harvest Meat Co, one of the biggest independent food distributors in the US, with annual sales of US$1.5 billion.

According to the report from Lynda Smart and Derek Ah Sam of Rodgers Reidy, GoatNZ was the first of two brokers and the initial recipient of funds in a supply chain between Harvest and an Australian supplier, Australian Commercial Livestock Pty. "The failure of the Australian supplier to supply the goats, despite payment being made, has resulted in the liquidation of the company," the liquidators said in their first report.

Mitchell declined to comment while he is in dispute with the second broker in the supply chain, an Australian company called Karjim Pty that is also in liquidation. The Rodgers Reidy report says GoatNZ has a claim against Karjim, which is unlikely to have any funds available for creditors. Mitchell has told the liquidators that GoatNZ doesn't have any assets.

Mitchell, the sole director of GoatNZ, says the company is insolvent because Australian Commercial Livestock failed to supply the goats to Karjim, according to the liquidators. It was too soon for them to make any judgements about the situation. Their initial report only has two amounts identified so far, for unsecured creditors - the Inland Revenue Department for $24,048 and other creditors, put at $513,557. Creditors include the Accident Compensation Corp, Harvest Meat, Holland Beckett, IRD and Le Pine & Co, the report says.

New Zealand goat meat exports amounted to $8.1 million in 2016, free on board, according to Statistics New Zealand data. That's up from $1.3 million in 1988 and the highest on record. Export markets for the meat are diverse and varied, based on 2015 figures. The biggest market was Reunion, an island in the Indian Ocean under the control of France, which took about $2.2 million of New Zealand goat meat that year. The US was the second-largest market at $1.6 million.

Mitchell is a 25-year veteran of the industry, having first been involved as a farmer in a large-scale embryo transfer programme to track desirable genetic traits. He went on to develop meat goats chosen for their traits of being hardy and fast growing. He is a former chair of the goat committee of the NZ Meat Board.

Mitchell co-owns an elite hybrid flock of goats, according to his website. 


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