Sunday, July 3, 2022

Extra palm kernel levy possible

No major problems have been found in Asian palm kernel facilities but the Government is considering an extra levy on imports to pay for extra overseas inspections.

Primary Industries Ministry (MPI) officials have inspected palm kernel manufacturing and storage facilities in Malaysia and Indonesia and found good systems in place.

“I realise palm kernel expeller (PKE) is an important source of supplementary feed for the dairy industry,” Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy said.

“However, after some concerns were raised by Federated Farmers I instructed officials to visit offshore facilities to review the safeguards in place.”

Full reports, which found biosecurity risks remain low, will be released soon.

“It’s important to note that every shipment is heat-treated to kill any traces of foot and mouth disease and is also fumigated and inspected.

“However, there are two areas of further improvement identified.

“Firstly, a small number of facilities need to improve their systems to keep birds and rodents out.

“MPI have reviewed import documentation and have not found any specific evidence that PKE has been imported from non-approved facilities.

“However, MPI and Malaysian authorities will strengthen the legal requirements to provide additional assurance that PKE from unapproved facilities cannot be exported to New Zealand.

“A further option being considered is a new levy on PKE imports or an increase to the existing biosecurity levy to increase the level of inspection in these countries.

“Any such proposal would have to be consulted on and have industry support.

“Overall, we have a strong and robust system but a levy may help provide further reassurance to industry if they see the need to fund this,” Guy said.

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