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Market access for ostrich meat exports

Agriculture Minister Jim Sutton today welcomed the opening up of the Netherlands market to ostrich and emu meat imports from New Zealand.

The first shipment of half a tonne of ostrich meat has arrived in Amsterdam.

Ostrich and emu were a relatively new meat for New Zealand, Mr Sutton said. It was taking domestic consumers some time to get used to the new meat and ostrich and emu growers were looking to develop export markets.

There had been some issues which had to be resolved before European Union import approval was received.

So far, there is only one processor and exporter of ostrich meat to Europe, Ostex Ltd, an Alexandra-based company. It has developed a chemical residues monitoring programme as required by the European Union.

Mr Sutton congratulated the company for its initiative in developing the European market and for its ability to complete regulatory requirements for exports.

"Market access to the Netherlands is very much an example of a wide group of people working together to reach a common goal. These include Ostex, the Ostrich and Emu Standards Council, MAF Food, MAF Food's compliance and investigation group, the Brussels-based veterinary services counsellor, and MAF Verification Agency."

Mr Sutton said the exports of ostrich and emu meat from New Zealand demonstrated the diversity of the New Zealand agriculture sector.


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