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FFNZ Strongly Backs Cairns Group Communique

FFNZ Strongly Backs Cairns Group Communique

13 December 2005

Federated Farmers of New Zealand (Inc) strongly supports the Cairns Group Farm Leaders’ communiqué, issued after their meeting in Hong Kong.

“It is a strong declaration that shows the commitment of agricultural exporters to removing unfairness in international trade,” said Charlie Pedersen, President of Federated Farmers.

“It is a united commitment to achieving real progress. Farm leaders have challenged trade ministers to deliver an estimated US$300 billion increase in world incomes, mainly in developing countries, through removing subsidies and other support.

The Cairns Group is a coalition of 17 agricultural exporting countries from developed and developing countries in Latin America, Africa and the Asia-Pacific region. The group has been an influential voice in the agricultural reform debate since its formation in 1986.

“Farm leaders have delivered an emphatic message to trade ministers that they must make progress at this week’s World Trade Organisation negotiations. What cannot be tolerated is failure. These talks must result in an agreement that sees commitments to improved market access, the end of export subsidies, and withdrawal of domestic support,” Mr Pedersen said.

Mr Pedersen and Federation vice-president Don Nicolson are in Hong Kong for a week as part of ‘Team New Zealand’ at the WTO meeting, which is attempting to agree key parts of a global trade deal after four years of negotiations.

They will also be liaising with farming representatives from other countries, and pushing the merits of farming without subsidies and protection.

Charlie and Don will be available to talk to New Zealand media during their visit.

ENDS

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