Plain Language Awards

Celebrate the stories of our clearest business communicators

Finalist: Best Plain English Annual Report 2014

Beef + Lamb New Zealand

Document name

Beef + Lamb New Zealand Annual Report 2012–2013

Judges’ comment

Annual reports are often challenged to compile both compliance data and a wide range of information about an organisation and related activities and products. New Zealand Beef + Lamb has excelled with this annual report, boosted by clear language, informative headers and tables, and striking graphics. It shows a true effort to communicate to its main audience, New Zealand farmers. The biographies stand out for being clearly written, as does the global marketing section. We commend this as an outstanding and accessible plain English annual report. The judges’ main recommendations are for the team to adopt more active phrasing and less jargoned language.

Media statement

We’re thrilled to have been named finalists in this year’s WriteMark New Zealand Plain English Awards. Farmers are the ultimate straight talkers, so when it comes to communicating with them, it’s important to us that we do the same.

Our core business is giving sheep and beef farmers the tools and information they need to make gains. So we wanted our annual report to be more than tables and numbers. We aimed to tell a story about our work throughout the year, and how it benefits our stakeholders, using lots of case studies to showcase on-farm success.

We honed our language to rid it of jargon and broke it down into easy-to-read chunks with clear headlines and subheadings. Full-page photographs of farmers at work and simple graphic elements support the text. Finally, we added an extra element of usefulness with QR codes readers can scan with their smartphones for instant access to our new online business tools.

Jan Keir-Smith
Communications Manager