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New Zealand cannot import pollination

New Zealand cannot import pollination

The National Beekeepers Association of New Zealand says that a few beekeepers have pollination to boost their income but those beekeepers dependant on just honey production supplying the domestic market will find the competition of imported honey threatening their future in the business.

If European foulbrood (EFB) is imported it will add to the already damaging effects of Varroa. Beekeepers wonder why New Zealand should increase the risk of EFB introduction by allowing honey imports.

The official decision making process is deliberately narrowed to only allow opposition on biosecurity grounds under WTO rules. The fact is that while most countries sign up to the WTO, they do not always play by its rules. New Zealand sticks itself out by being ‘squeaky clean’ in order to export our agricultural products but as other countries have found out, at some stage you have to compromise some of your strategic assets in order to be squeaky clean.

The annual pollination values our bees produce are one of those tangible and also intangible assets. Without the full value of this pollination asset, farming costs must increase. Some pastoral farmers are already beginning to realise the value of bees and talking about paying for pollination.

Beekeepers think that the pollination argument is valid because in order to let an importer make money by importing honey, a whole lot of beekeepers are going to be faced with increased costs well over and above the increased revenue to those who import the honey.

New Zealand may soon be able to import honey but we cannot import pollination.

Ends.

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