B+LNZ and MIA welcome appointment of new Special Agricultural Trade Envoy

Mel Poulton
Mel Poulton

The red meat sector has welcomed the recent appointment of Mel Poulton as the incoming Special Agricultural Trade Envoy (SATE).

Farmer and former Nuffield Scholar Mel Poulton has been appointed as New Zealand’s Special Agricultural Trade envoy (SATE), Minister for Trade and Export Growth David Parker and Minister of Agriculture Damien O’Connor announced yesterday.

The position supports key Government objectives including raising the value of New Zealand agricultural goods and services.

Poulton is a pastoral farmer, based in the Tararua District, producing and exporting food and fibre to markets around the world. She is highly active in environmental stewardship and is a member of the Global Farmers Network. She is well placed to tell New Zealand’s agriculture and environmental stewardship story to the world, said O’Connor.

“More broadly, Mel will be tasked with advocating for New Zealand’s agriculture trade interests from the perspective of a practicing farmer and identifying opportunities for New Zealand to commercialise its agricultural expertise offshore,” he said.

Beef + Lamb New Zealand (B+LNZ) chairman Andrew Morrison says the role of SATE is crucial not only to the sector, but for New Zealand agriculture as a whole.

“The SATE has an important role in advocating for New Zealand’s agricultural trade interests, and Mel will do a great job ensuring New Zealand’s agricultural sector has a strong voice in an international setting,” says Morrison.

“Being a farmer and a member of the Global Farmers Network, Mel will be able to provide her perspective on trade priorities for New Zealand agriculture and provide useful insights to the Government.”

Meat Industry Association (MIA) chief executive Tim Ritchie says trade is crucial to the sector and open markets are vital to the prosperity of New Zealand.

“Mel will have an important role to play in building support for the Free Trade Agreements with the European Union and potentially the United Kingdom.

“Both these markets are extremely important for New Zealand – and ensuring we have good access will be central to our success in the market.  As a food producer, Mel will know and understand this well.”

The sector looks forward to welcoming Mel to her new position and sharing the sector’s priorities with her in due course.

The Ministers have expressed their appreciation to him for his commitment to the role over the past six years. B+LNZ and MIA would also like to acknowledge the work of Mike Petersen who has been in the SATE role since 2013.

“Mike has done a tremendous job building New Zealand’s agricultural trade profile around the world and working with Government on key agricultural trade priorities,” says Morrison.

“He has set up a wide-ranging network of international relationships. We thank Mike for his contribution and wish him all the best for his next adventure.”

Petersen will continue in the role until the end of the year and Poulton will formally take up the position on 1 January 2020.

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