Wednesday, 03 July 2024 09:55

UK FTA helps boost exports

Written by  Peter Burke
MIA chief executive Sirma Karapeeva. MIA chief executive Sirma Karapeeva.

Meat Industry Association chief executive Sirma Karapeeva says the outlook for beef in the US is expected to hold up for several years as that country continues to liquidate its herd due to drought.

She says beef exports out of the US are higher than they have been in the past.

"Likewise for lamb, with work that has been done to develop that market starting to pay off as a number of consumers there are looking for grass-fed NZ lamb, which is really good news for us because they are also one of the higher paying markets for that product," she says.

The signing of the UK/NZ FTA has opened the door for NZ with the removal of tariffs and what appears to be a slight improvement in the UK economy. Karapeeva says the UK also appears to have problems with farmers there unable to meet consumer demand for lamb, paving the way for NZ to backfill some of that shortfall outside the traditional times of Christmas and Easter.

However, a cloud hangs over what may or may not happen in the EU. This, Karapeeva says is because of proposed regulations around restrictions being placed on agricultural products that have been produced on land that has been deforested.

"The objective is really solid. No one wants to see global deforestation continued and we all agree that some protection needs to be put around land so that it is not deforested for production of agricultural ponds.

"That's not the issue. The issue is the way current rules seem to be drafted," she says.

Karapeeva says, depending on what rules come into force and when, it may be difficult to prove whether land had or had not been deforested. With that comes the complex and costly issue of traceability. She says the confusion and conflicting messages is very frustrating for NZ companies to plan how they will deal with supplying their products to the EU.

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