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Industry welcomes outcome of EU negotiations

16 August 2005

Industry welcomes outcome of EU enlargement negotiations

Meat & Wool New Zealand Chairman Jeff Grant and Meat Industry Association Chairman Bill Falconer have welcomed the Government's confirmation today that New Zealand's sheepmeat quota to the EU will be expanded.

Minister for Trade Negotiations Jim Sutton announced today that the EU will allocate a further 1,154 tonnes c.w.e[1] of sheepmeat quota to New Zealand.

The quota expansion is a result of the EU's enlargement in May 2004 to include 10 new European countries and is in recognition of New Zealand's historic trade in sheepmeat with the newly acceded EU members.

A number of the new EU members, Malta and Cyprus in particular, had imported sheepmeat from New Zealand prior to joining the EU. However, since EU enlargement this trade has been displaced, as sheepmeat exports to Malta, Cyprus and the other acceding countries are now subject to the tariff quotas imposed by the EU for sheepmeat and goatmeat (currently 226,700 tonnes c.w.e).

"We are pleased that the negotiations have concluded," said Mr Grant. "The agreement to expand New Zealand's sheepmeat quota to the EU is appropriate recognition of New Zealand's historic sheepmeat trade with the new EU members and ensures that New Zealand exporters are not in a less favourable position than they were prior to the EU's enlargement."

"Meat & Wool New Zealand and the Meat Industry Association have supported the Government's efforts to address the negative impact of the EU's enlargement on New Zealand's meat trade with Malta and Cyprus in particular. We appreciate that these negotiations have been complex and appreciate the Government's efforts to achieve this outcome."

The outcome of negotiations on beef access to the EU, in respect of which New Zealand has also had an established trade with some of the acceding countries, has yet to be confirmed.

ENDS

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