Agriculture Minister Jim Sutton has placed meat-industry reform firmly back on the agenda for 2002.

Sutton explained that he is particularly interested in seeing the Meat Industry Association and the Meat Producers Board more closely integrated,  "probably with a more corporate flavour than the present Meat Board".

He acknowledged that any merger of the two industry organisations dealing with industry issues beyond the farm gate, "needs to be driven by the industry", however insisted: "I would like to see some move in that direction."