Originally from Northland, Lynsey McQuinn grew up with her time being split between town and country. On her completion of high school, Lynsey spent four years working for the National Bank while studying part-time. She then engaged in full-time study to complete her degree faster, graduating with a Bachelor of Business (Finance) through Massey University. As agriculture was always an interest, her elective papers were generally agricultural focussed.
After a stint in Canada, the UK, and a summer spent on a sheep & beef station in Northland, Lynsey had the opportunity to gain exposure to the NZ red meat industry through a Management Cadetship with a lamb export company based in the North Island. This 18 month cadetship covered all facets of the business to build her understanding of the entire pasture to plate process. This included spending six months at a lamb processing facility, working on the slaughter board & in the boning room. During this time she continued to study part time, completing a Post Graduate Diploma in Agribusiness.
On completion of the Management Cadetship Lynsey looked after the company’s North American portfolio. Since then, she has also gained exposure to global beef markets, managing the export beef portfolio for a processor in the North Island. In her current role with ANZCO Foods ltd, Lynsey co-ordinates key marketing initiatives and projects for new and/or niche beef & lamb programmes. This involves engaging with all participants across the value chain.
"New Zealand red meat companies operate a disassembly line, and our challenge is to ensure that we optimise returns for every piece of the carcase (cuts of meat, offal, hides/pelts & bones) in order to create value. The items from one carcase can end up being distributed amongst more than 10 different markets globally. This provides the challenge of managing a range of different market access requirements, exchange rates, payment terms as well as many other variables."
Lynsey acknowledges that our industry will continue to face challenges in the future, competing with other producing nations, as well as with substitute products such as pork, poultry, seafood & more recently plant protein and synthetic meats.
"The integrity of NZ’s food safety systems, environmental sustainability and stringent animal welfare standards are extremely important attributes in our export markets. Growing consumer trends (especially in the US) around antibiotic free, free range and grass fed are well suited to NZ’s natural production system, however proof of this (through 3rd party verification) is becoming increasingly important for informed consumers, and in some cases, market access. The industry is ever-changing and challenging but that makes it pretty exciting and rewarding."
Lynsey, the conversation around future foods and staying ahead of the game for our markets is a super interesting one, and one that we all need to be aware of. Keeping up with global trends and ensuring we understand our consumers will help keep the New Zealand red meat industry in good stead.