New Zealand beef producers support comprehensive TPP agreement

New Zealand beef producers are among an international alliance to have signed a letter announcing support for a comprehensive Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement.

Mike Petersen, B+LNZ Ltd chairman.“Beef + Lamb NZ is delighted to be a signatory to this Five Nations Beef Alliance Joint Communique that outlines core principles to ensure the TPP negotiations fulfill the promise of a high quality agreement that can serve as a standard for future generations,” explained Mike Petersen, chairman of B+LNZ.

“The TPP needs to be an ambitious, high quality, comprehensive agreement, with no product or sector exclusions, address non-tariff barriers and be enforceable. The more we can work together with our international counterpart organisations on these trade issues, the more likely it is to result in a win-win for all.”

The agreement is based on 10 core principles, ensuring any agreement must be comprehensive and must eliminate all tariffs and market access barriers while emphasising the importance of unfettered trade. It also relies on risk-based scientific decision making, based on international science standards.

The Five Nations Beef Alliance is also asking the negotiating countries to push for arrangements where beef producers are all treated the same.

The Five Nations Beef Alliance comprises B+LNZ, the Cattle Council of Australia, Canadian Cattlemen’s Association, Confederación Nacional de Organizaciones Ganaderas and the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. Together the alliance represents producers from countries that account for one-third of global beef production and approximately half of global beef exports.

Read the letter …

Global beef priorities advanced at Five Nations conference

International trade was front and centre of discussions at the Five Nations Beef Alliance (FNBA) conference in Cairns, Australia, last week.

Beef + Lamb New Zealand (B+LNZ) chair-elect James Parsons led New Zealand’s participation in the annual conference of beef cattle producer organisations from Canada, the US, Mexico, Australia and New Zealand. B+LNZ chief executive Scott Champion and general manager market access Ben O’Brien also attended alongside three ‘Young Ranchers’ Richard Morrison of Marton, Pete Fitz-Herbert of Hunterville and Lauren McWilliam (of Masterton).

The key action was the signing of a position statement on the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations.

Parsons says the FNBA position on TPP mirrors similar statements promoted by B+LNZ, Fonterra and agriculture groups in the US. It calls for a comprehensive TPP agreement without product exclusions, especially in agriculture, and for all tariffs and other market access barriers to be eliminated in the TPP region. The FNBA also wants negotiating countries to push for arrangement where beef producers are all treated the same.

“It’s great to see that our views on the need for a strong trade agreement that addresses the issues of both now, and those of growing importance, are shared by our FNBA partners. New Zealand beef producers indirectly pay $115 per head in tariffs, so any reduction due to a successful TPP will flow through to greater farm profits.”

Beneficial discussions were held on a number of important issues, including sustainability, with the guiding principle that sustainability encompasses environmental impact, consumer and society expectations as well as producer profitability.

New Zealand’s Young Rancher participants worked with those from the other FNBA countries to confront industry challenges and to identify opportunities to work together to support a vibrant and prosperous future for their industry.