Address

Precise Investors

Trading

British farmers have “nothing to fear” from NZ-UK FTA

UK

New Zealand is pushing for the removal of tariffs on agricultural exports, but the topic remains a sticking point in negotiations

Industry groups in New Zealand say British farmers have “nothing to fear” from a free trade agreement (FTA) between the two countries, as farmers in the UK warn such a deal could lead to local standards being lowered and spell the end for them.

Officials are currently negotiating the terms of a post-Brexit trade deal between New Zealand and the UK, with Damien O’Connor, who is both Minister of Agriculture and of Trade and Export Growth, earlier this month saying representatives on both sides had agreed to rapidly lift the tempo of talks.

Chief negotiaters would now meet monthly, ahead of the next round of formal talks scheduled for June and July, O’Connor said.

New Zealand is pushing for the removal of tariffs on agricultural exports, but the topic remains a sticking point in negotiations, with industry groups here saying the market access offered so far by the UK falls short of the ambitions for the agreement and is deeply disappointing.

Australia is also pushing for the complete removal of tariffs on their exports, with the BBC reporting this week a deal had been agreed to which would phase out import taxes – including on agricultural products – over 15 years.

But farmers in the UK say allowing tariff-free imports from countries like New Zealand and Australia would have potentially devastating effects for local food producers.

In an opinion piece published recently in the Mail on Sunday, the president of UK’s National Farmers’ Union, Minette Batters, said the free trade deals would make life unbearable for small British farms.

I have huge admiration for farmers across the world, not least our cousins in Australia and New Zealand, Batters wrote.

But their farms are very different to ours and on a very different scale. And were we to throw our doors wide open to their exports, the stark differences in the way we operate would spell major trouble, she stated. The only way UK farmers could compete on price would be to drop their standards.

The plain truth is this: removing tariffs for vast, unmanageable volumes of Australian beef or New Zealand lamb – or, God forbid, allowing zero tariffs on all their produce – could spell the end, she said.

But Sirma Karapeeva, chief executive of New Zealand’s Meat Industry Association (MIA) told Newshub the Farmers’ Union has nothing to fear from a free trade agreement.

New Zealand is a longstanding and trusted trading partner of the United Kingdom. For over 140 years, New Zealand has supplied Britain with safe, nutritious and healthy food during the off season of British lamb production, she said.

Grass-fed red meat is seasonal, meaning New Zealand is an ideal trade partner for the UK as trade ensures there is a year-round supply of high-quality meat on supermarket shelves, especially during the busy Christmas period where British production is low, Karapeeva said.

As the UK can only produce 75 percent of the beef that it consumes, it will require imports to make up the difference. We believe that those imports should come from countries that can demonstrate that they are equivalent or better to UK standards, such as New Zealand, she said.

Her view was echoed by Sam McIvor, chief executive of Beef + Lamb New Zealand, who added that New Zealand farmers were among the most environmentally and ethically responsible red meat producers in the world.

Important:

The articles are for information purposes only and Precise Investors shall not be held responsible for any errors, omissions or inaccuracies within it. Any rules or regulations mentioned within the website are those relevant at the time of publication and may not be the most up-to-date.

Precise Investors does not endorse any of the products or services that appear on it or are linked to it and are not liable for any action that you may take as a result of the content of this website, or losses or damage you may incur doing so.

There is no obligation to purchase anything but, if you decide to do so, you are strongly advised to consult a professional adviser before making any investment decisions.

Please remember that investments of any type may rise or fall and past performance does not guarantee future performance in respect of income or capital growth; you may not get back the amount you invested.

Leave a Reply

eighteen − 6 =