Welsh and New Zealand sheep industries to discuss trade

HCC chairman Dai Davies said the meat industry faces 'uncertain times'

Representatives from the New Zealand sheepmeat industry will meet with the Welsh red meat levy board today, Thursday 2 February 2017, to discuss the future of trade relations.

Andrew Morrison, director of Beef + Lamb New Zealand Ltd (BLNZ), alongside the Europe regional manager, Ben O’Brien, are being welcomed by Hybu Cig Cymru – Meat Promotion Wales (HCC) in Aberystwyth.

The industry bodies will be discussing the uncertainty of the future of international trade following on from Brexit. At the moment, New Zealand can export up to 228,000 tonnes of sheepmeat to the European Union free of tariffs, with over half of the exports entering into the UK.

‘Uncertain time’

We are pleased to welcome Andrew Morrison and Ben O’Brien to Wales, and to provide an opportunity for farmers’ organisations to raise issues to their members,” said HCC chairman Dai Davies.

This is an uncertain time for the industry. The major issue over which both parties will want clarification in the coming months is how much of the current EU quota allocation for New Zealand lamb will be taken up by the UK after Brexit, and how much by the rest of Europe. Wales’ agricultural industry must also have a strong voice in any future trade discussions between the UK and New Zealand governments.

He highlighted the importance that the countries’ sheep brands carry with them. “Of course, the PGI Welsh Lamb and New Zealand Lamb brands are in competition in the UK market and in many other parts of the world,” he explained.

However, there are also areas where Wales and New Zealand can co-operate, particularly in emerging markets overseas. Our complementary peak seasons can help build a year-round demand for lamb in new territories. I look forward to a constructive dialogue with our colleagues from BLNZ, and to building understanding as our industry looks to navigate these uncertain times.

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