Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Velvet export changes will benefit NZ in long term

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More ‘secure and transparent access to mainland China’ under new dried mandate, says DINZ.
Most of the proposed changes to minimum standards in a revised Deer Code of Welfare are based on good farming practice.
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Significant changes in the rules around velvet exports to China will in fact open an opportunity for the New Zealand velvet industry, Deer Industry NZ chief executive Innes Moffat says.

China has signalled changes to its rules for imported velvet used in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), necessitating changes for exports of NZ velvet.

As from April 30 2024, velvet imported into China for TCM will need to be dried velvet.

Frozen velvet exports to other markets will continue with the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) working with Chinese authorities to clarify the future rules for frozen velvet.

Moffat said the changes will mean the NZ velvet export industry will need to adjust.

“But we do have time to do this and while we don’t yet have a timeframe around some of the adjustments, it is important to advise of the changes into the future now as it will be significant in some parts.

He said Deer Industry NZ  (DINZ) is “working closely with MPI, processors and exporters to ensure we can modify our supply chain to continue to grow the industry”.

“We do not anticipate this change will dampen the long-term opportunity for velvet exports as a bright spot for pastoral farmers.

“Longer term for the NZ velvet industry, it will provide a more secure and transparent access to mainland China for our velvet,” Moffat said.

Velvet producers should plan for business as usual this season, working with buyers to allow for shipping frozen velvet as early as possible to meet the April 30, 2024 deadline.

“Nothing changes immediately, giving us time to prepare for these changes and make a smooth transition.

“Frozen velvet exports for this season will continue as usual. China will accept these shipments until the end of April next year.”

Chinese authorities are making the changes to clarify the rules for importation of TCMs.

“Long term we see this will benefit our industry with more stable and transparent rules being implemented in China.”

Moffat said DINZ will work with MPI and NZ processors on the details of a new TCM import protocol being negotiated between NZ and China.

“This dried velvet protocol will offer us clearer market access and provide an ability to add further value in NZ.”

Moffat is hopeful longer-term solutions can be agreed to enable the continued growth in NZ trade with China of both frozen and dried deer velvet.

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