Britain’s arrangements for Brexit – leaving the European Union (EU) by the summer of 2019 – and progress towards an EU-NZ Free Trade Agreement, will be on the agenda when Beef + Lamb New Zealand meets British and EU farming representatives during a northern hemisphere visit.
Beef + Lamb New Zealand (B+LNZ Ltd) chairman, James Parsons, and Southern South Island farmer director, Andrew Morrison, are in Britain, France, Ireland and Belgium this week to meet with New Zealand’s farming counterparts, to discuss areas of common interest including lamb consumption and maintaining year-round supply for European consumers.
“We’re of course keenly interested in Britain’s exit from the EU and how this will be negotiated and we’ll be getting a feel for the impact on market dynamics as we meet with agricultural industry counterparts in both the UK and continental Europe.
“B+LNZ is also strongly supportive of the negotiation of a free trade agreement with the EU which we are hopeful could be launched early next year. The EU 28 is New Zealand’s most valuable red meat market, accounting for over NZ$2 billion in trade last year. A significant proportion of these exports currently enter under WTO quotas for sheepmeat and beef.
“Our priority is keeping the channels of communication open and ensuring the relationships that we’ve built up over many years remain strong. The visit to the market this year is as important as ever with Brexit and as we look to launch FTA negotiations with the EU next year.”
The EU 28 refers to the full EU membership of 28 member states.