May 8, 2023
New Zealand-UK FTA positively received by NZ red meat sector
New Zealand's red meat sector has welcomed a free trade agreement (FTA) between New Zealand and the United Kingdom, saying it will deliver a major boost to Kiwi exports by eventually allowing tariff-free access for beef and lamb into the UK.
The UK parliament has ratified the FTA and the agreement will come into force on May 31.
"New Zealand exporters and farmers are looking forward to tariff-free access into the UK, something we haven't enjoyed since Britain joined the European Economic Community (EEC) in 1973," Meat Industry Association chief executive, Sirma Karapeeva, said.
The FTA was a high-quality agreement that provided the red meat sector with greater access to a key market for New Zealand beef and lamb, she said. "It really opens up an opportunity for New Zealand's beef exports in a traditional market and creates new avenues for growth for the red meat sector."
The agreement would also allow closer cooperation between both countries' red meat sectors and strengthen ties, Karapeeva said.
Sam McIvor, chief executive of Beef + Lamb New Zealand, said the FTA was good news for sheep and beef farmers, rural communities and the New Zealand economy.
"Not only will this FTA support the sector to unlock further value in this important market, but it will further strengthen New Zealand's already diverse export base," he said. "But we know that the UK market is very competitive, with Australia also gaining greater access, so we will have to work hard to realise our ambitions and seize the opportunities on offer."
New Zealand's free-range, pasture-raised product was seasonal, complementing the UK's northern hemisphere production, McIvor said.
"Both New Zealand and the UK also share a commitment to high production standards, especially in food safety and quality, animal welfare and the environment,” he added.
The New Zealand Meat Board will be responsible for administering the FTA quotas for beef and sheepmeat, in line with the robust system already in place for administering the existing World Trade Organisation (WTO) quotas for red meat.
"Over the past 12 months, the New Zealand Meat Board has been working alongside our red meat sector partners planning for this milestone and all the systems are ready to go,” NZMB general manager quota and information Nick Beeby said.
- NZ Herald