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Global Beef Priorities Advanced at Five Nations Conference

20 September 2013

Global Beef Priorities Advanced at Five Nations Conference – says Beef + Lamb New Zealand

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 Chair-Elect, James Parsons led New Zealand’s participation in the annual conference of beef cattle producer organisations from Canada, the United States, Mexico, Australia and New Zealand. 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 item was the signing of a position statement on the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations.

Parsons said the FNBA position on TPP mirrors similar statements promoted by Beef + Lamb New Zealand and Fonterra and agriculture groups in the United States. 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 the negotiating countries to push for arrangements 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,” Parsons said.

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.

“FNBA members also shared experiences regarding efforts to benchmark performance in all segments of the beef value chain so that we can continue to meet or exceed consumer expectations and, importantly, support the growth of our farmer members.”

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.

ENDS

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