For more information contact:
Tatiana Protsenko

For more information contact:
Kaylene Larking


Meat processing is one the biggest employers of New Zealanders, with about 24,000 New Zealanders employed by meat processors.

Having a skilled workforce is extremely important to the sector. Our scholarship programme, and career information programmes are helping to attract talent to the sector. The sector offers various opportunities in a range of areas including marketing, food science, HR, manufacturing and technology.

MIA advocates for more flexible access to training, and for employment legislation that better meets the unique needs of the meat industry.


The New Zealand meat industry needs highly skilled young people who can become the future leaders in one of New Zealand’s largest industries. The MIA Scholarship scheme provides a pathway for undergraduate and graduate students into a career in the New Zealand meat industry..

Scholars in the programme receive financial support ($5000p.a. undergrad, $10,000p.a. postgrad) and be provided with a mentoring programme during their tenure. At the completion of their programme scholars will have a pathway towards a career in the meat processing industry. 

Our key priorities

Individual business have done a lot to address workforce shortages and address the challenges that stem from these constraints, in partnership we can do better together.

MIA in partnership with members has been coordinating a sector wide Workforce Development Strategy and programme of work.

Workforce development priorities are:

  • Ensure the sector understands and can articulate their workforce needs today and into the future
  • Target relevant channels to promote employment opportunities in the Meat Processing sector are
  • Advocate for flexible access to Education and Training, so that people have the right skills, knowledge and capabilities to be successful throughout their career

The sector’s labour & workforce story

There is a vast array of jobs available, ranging from processing, engineering, trades, sales and marketing or human resources, to distribution, animal welfare and many scientific and environmental roles.

Meat Your Career :

New Zealand’s largest manufacturing industry


25,541 people

in 55 processing plants, across 361 businesses.

1⁄4 of the workforce, or approximately

4,500 people are undergoing NZQA- accredited courses

on-site with 80 per cent completion rate.

Employment by gender:

Males 53.1%

Female 46.9%

The average ago of a meat processing worker is 40.5 years

average age of Meat Processing worker but this is younger then the average

42.4 years

age of all workers in NZ

Latest labour & workforce news

Barriers to International Trade

Gain an in-depth understanding of the complex and evolving trade and tariff environment that New Zealand’s red meat processors and marketers operate in when exporting to over 110 countries.