National Biosecurity Industry and Supreme Award Winners

Date: 26 November 2020

The 2020 New Zealand Biosecurity awards were announced earlier this month on the 16th November at the Beehive in Wellington City. This event celebrated a range of biosecurity initiatives from Schools, individuals, community groups and industries from the length and breadth of New Zealand.

Taupo based dairy company, Miraka, were awarded the Government Industry Agreement (GIA) Award for boosting awareness of biosecurity and culture change on-farm and were ultimately awarded the New Zealand Biosecurity Supreme Award ahead of 9 other category winners. QCONZ’s Chris Leach joined Richard Wyeth (CEO), Grant Jackson (GM Milk Supply), and other representatives from Miraka in accepting these prestigious awards.

Miraka were nominated in the GIA category for developing and implementing a training course which educates farmers and suppliers in identifying, managing and mitigating Biosecurity risks on-farm, from cow to bottle. QCONZ supported the development of this NZQA funded course in partnership with Primary ITO through the initial development and delivery of biosecurity training, followed by the review and assessment of biosecurity workplace plans developed by each trainee.

In 2018, Chris Leach was approached to develop a biosecurity micro-credential under contract to the Primary ITO. The development of this course was largely in response to M.Bovis and has been designed to support each learner to develop, implement, monitor and review their own biosecurity plan. Having developed the training course and material, the programme was delivered to Miraka suppliers at 6 workshops spread over 2019 and 2020.

Te Ara Miraka invested in the development of their farmer-suppliers through an incentive payment to those who produced a plan. The plans were then submitted to Chris for a review and feedback, before being implemented on-farm.

These workshops were well received by those who participated and has seen 70% of all Miraka farmers implement their own biosecurity plan for their farms. This is a fantastic result and we are immensely proud to have been included in this industry leading project which helps build greater resilience for farming businesses and fuels our on-going focus on biosecurity.

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