Tuesday, 19 July 2022 12:55

EU deal cheeses off dairy

Written by  Peter Burke
Malcolm Bailey, DCANZ, says it's a lousy deal, a significantly missed opportunity and sets an awful precedent for any future trade negotiations. Malcolm Bailey, DCANZ, says it's a lousy deal, a significantly missed opportunity and sets an awful precedent for any future trade negotiations.

The chair of the organisation which represents all the New Zealand dairy companies has hit out at government politicians for failing to deliver a quality FTA with the EU for the dairy sector.

Malcolm Bailey, Dairy Companies Association of NZ (DCANZ), says the parameters the politicians finally set for the negotiations made it virtually impossible for our highly skilled trade negotiators to pull off a good deal for what he calls one of the big engine rooms of the NZ economy - the dairy industry.

"This is a lousy deal, a significantly missed opportunity and sets an awful precedent for any future trade negotiations," he says.

Bailey, who was in Brussels when the final touches were being put on the deal, says he had a sleepless night when he heard that the message from the Government to the negotiators was 'anything better than the status quo'.

He says DCANZ had urged them to keep on negotiating to get a better deal for dairy and says they were surprised at the approach they took.

He says the change in the language and the fact that NZ had signalled that it wanted a deal by June 30 was something of a cue to the EU negotiators, who knowing NZ's bottom line, appeared to adopt a tactic of stalling the negotiations and counting down the clock to the end of June.

"This appears to have made it extremely difficult for our negotiators to deliver something meaningful for the dairy and beef sectors.

"We don't use this phrase 'walk away' - for us it is just continue the negotiation rather than settle a deal at this time if it wasn't going to be good enough and, as we have seen, it is not good enough for dairy.

"In the end it was a decisions made by the Government and I have already said how disappointed we are," he says.

Bailey says he's not at all critical of the MFAT trade negotiators, describing them as "top shelf people".

He says while DCANZ was not at the actual negotiating table, they worked alongside the MFAT people and provided analysis and information to assist them where necessary.

More like this

What now?

Aged 64, Malcolm Bailey says farewell after a stellar career in the dairy industry but his knowledge, innovation and drive will not be lost to the wider primary sector.

DCANZ chief bows out

Malcolm Bailey says one of the difficult things he's had to overcome in his tenure with DCANZ is getting traction in the media to point out all the initiatives and works that have been done by the industry in the face of public criticism.

Sweet boost for mānuka honey

The new Free Trade Agreement between New Zealand and the European Union has given a major boost to the New Zealand honey industry’s claim to exclusive rights to the name ‘mānuka’ honey.

Bolger to chair DCANZ

University of Waikato academic Matt Bolger has been appointed new chairman of Dairy Companies Association of New Zealand (DCANZ).

National

Machinery & Products

New disc cultivator launched

Väderstad has introduced a new disc cultivator – the Carrier XT 425-625 – featuring rotating disc axles, that optimizes results…

JD unlocks its digital system

As a long-term advocate of digital technology, John Deere has taken the route of mass data capture, rather than concentrating…

» The RNG Weather Report

» Latest Print Issues Online

The Hound

Fruitful change?

OPINION: Your canine crusader notes that meat company Silver Fern Farms has undergone quite a refresh over the last few…

All for show?

OPINION: The Hound notes that Fonterra is cashing in on the curent government's largesse with taxpayer money.

» Connect with Rural News

» eNewsletter

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter