Sheep and beef industry welcome progress towards bilateral FTA with the European Union

Sam McIvor 13 March 2017

Beef + Lamb New Zealand and the Meat Industry Association welcome the successful completion of joint scoping discussions towards an EU – NZ Free Trade Agreement (FTA) announced by Minister McClay in Brussels.

Trade liberalisation, including through FTAs, creates a stable and level playing field on which to compete and it’s hugely important to the growth and future prosperity of the sheep and beef sector and New Zealand as a whole, the two organisations say.

“The completion of the scoping discussions is a significant step towards launching FTA negotiations this year,” said Sam McIvor, CEO of Beef + Lamb New Zealand. 

The European Union is a very important market for New Zealand red meat products, worth over NZ$1.8 billion in the year ended December 2016. 

The EU is New Zealand’s largest market by region for sheepmeat exports and second-largest for chilled beef and wool exports.  It takes our highest quality and value cuts. 

Tim Ritchie, CEO of Meat Industry Association noted that: “New Zealand still faces a range of significant tariff and non-tariff barriers into this market.  New Zealand pays approximately NZ$60 million in tariffs per year on its red meat exports to the EU.

“In addition, a number of competitors in this market have already reached free trade agreements with the EU, such as Canada,” Ritchie said. 

New Zealand has long established relationships with the European red meat sector.  Our red meat exports complement seasonal production in Europe so that customers can buy high-quality red meat all year around. 

“We look forward to working with the New Zealand Government and European organisations to generate new opportunities for agricultural and food producers under an EU-NZ FTA,” McIvor said.

For more information please contact B+LNZ Chief Executive, Sam McIvor, on 021 828 170 or MIA Chief Executive, Tim Ritchie, on 027 576 0036.

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