Sunday, August 14, 2022

Sector welcomes trade deal

Federated Farmers says the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between the United Kingdom and New Zealand is great news for consumers and farmers in both countries.

Beef + Lamb NZ chief executive Sam McIvor says the UK FTA allows British consumers access to best in-season products all year around.

Federated Farmers says the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between the United Kingdom and New Zealand is great news for consumers and farmers in both countries.

“The United Kingdom is walking the talk when it comes to promising a truly global Britain,” Federated Farmers president Andrew Hoggard said.

The deal has been agreed to in principle and gives butter and cheese tariff-free access in five years and other dairy goods access within three years.

Beef and sheepmeat volumes increase and achieve tariff-free status in 15 years.

Most horticultural products achieve free trade far sooner.

“We congratulate the New Zealand team of negotiators, officials and politicians who have tenaciously pursued this deal. The result is impressive,” he said.

“There has been a worrying trend of growing protectionism for agricultural products since the outbreak of covid-19.

“This FTA shows trade liberalisation remains the way forward globally.”

The Dairy Companies Association of NZ (DCANZ) is thrilled with the agreement.

Chair Malcolm Bailey says the dairy industry is usually at the difficult end of the trade negotiation spectrum because of history and culture.

He says it is really good news for dairy exporters that so much progress has been made in this deal.

For the dairy industry, the UK FTA has an element of back to the future.

Before 1973, most product went to the UK anyway, but Bailey says NZ now has to start again.

He adds most dairy product in NZ are already tied up in contracts and none is available to be rushed off to Britain immediately.

It will only go there if people from Britain agree to buy it.

“With this agreement we have started to open the door, but we have not gone through that door yet,” Bailey said.

Beef + Lamb NZ (B+LNZ) and the Meat Industry Association (MIA) are also thrilled with the deal.

“It allows British consumers access to best in-season products all year around, particularly during busy periods such as Easter and Christmas, which fall during the United Kingdom’s off-season meat production window,” B+LNZ chief executive Sam McIvor said.

Apiculture NZ also welcomes the deal.

Chief executive Karin Kos says the UK is one of the top three export markets for NZ honey and is worth $70 million annually.

“We have strong ties with UK customers, with a long history of exporting high-quality honey products there,” Kos said.

“However, the current in-quota tariff rate of 16% has been a significant barrier to trade. “

Onion growers were pleased with the agreement and Fonterra called it a “fantastic result”.

Stephen Jacobi of the NZ International Business Forum (NZIBF) says the deal was welcome news amid the covid gloom.

“This is clearly a substantial and comprehensive deal, with commercially meaningful market access across New Zealand’s key export sectors. including dairy, meat, horticulture and wine,” Jacobi said.

“While some of the detail remains to be worked out, negotiators have done a good job getting this far relatively quickly.”

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