Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 


Groser: China-New Zealand Dairy Exchange Centre signing

Hon Tim Groser

Minister of Trade


19 March 2014

Speech

Address - China-New Zealand Dairy Exchange Centre signing ceremony and launch, Beijing


Distinguished Guests

It is a pleasure to be in Beijing as part of the visit of New Zealand's Prime Minister, Rt Hon John Key, to China which includes meetings with Premier Li Keqiang and President Xi Jinping.


This morning, I am delighted to be here with my ministerial colleague, the Hon Nikki Kaye, Minister for Food Safety, to witness this innovative agreement between the National Dairy Industry Technology System and Fonterra. I will leave it to the three distinguished speakers who are to follow me to talk directly about the China-New Zealand Dairy Exchange Centre. They are much better informed than me on the specifics of the project and its future evolution. Rather, I will reflect on the broader context of this initiative.

The idea of ‘food security’ stands at or near the apex of concerns of people everywhere. Food security is fundamental to human life and will forever be such. But the concept of food security does require interpretation in the light of national circumstances and those circumstances change. A wise food security policy for a land-locked, least-developed country will look very different to a wise policy for Singapore, which has literally no farms but whose people still need food security.

In the past, ‘food security’ has all too often been interpreted as ‘self-sufficiency’. This has to change and is changing right around the world. There are a number of factors at play.

First, we are at the start of a process of integrating our respective farming sectors through comprehensive international trade negotiations. While the process in the WTO is moving forward only at very slow speed, the Uruguay Round was the key point of departure in integrating world agriculture into the framework of international economic law. I have no doubt that eventually we will all have to return to Geneva to continue the process of multilateral liberalisation. In the meantime, the focus is on FTAs and, in particular, a variety of regional ‘mega-deals’, at least one of which involves China – the RCEP, or Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement amongst 16 countries. Inevitably, this will introduce, albeit slowly, exposure to competition in the same way it has with respect to industrial products since the Second World War.

Second, we clearly need to take account of environmental impact of farming. Even before we consider the role of land in food production, farming is first and foremost about water – 70% of the planet’s fresh water is used in producing food. Countries with an abundance of fresh water have different choices to those for whom high quality fresh water is a large constraint. Future agriculture development has to be based on environmental sustainability.

Third, we are seeing an explosion of wealth around the world. Since 1990, more than 75 developing countries have been experiencing faster rates of per capita income than the United States. China is by far the most important of these countries, but is not alone. Rapid urbanisation is the inevitable by-product of income growth and it is a difficult process to manage. That process of rapid urbanisation has huge consequences for rural communities.

In certain countries – and I saw this many times before going into politics nearly 10 years ago when I had the privilege of chairing the WTO agriculture negotiations in Geneva – there has been a tendency to try to avoid any structural adjustment at all. I understand the reason for this – it is always inspired by the desire to protect vulnerable rural communities from change. We need to be acutely sensitive to their needs, but taken too far, there is a danger of locking those rural communities into low agricultural productivity and relative poverty when compared with their increasingly prosperous kinfolk in the cities.

Fourth, as developing country after developing country increases disposable income, demand for food changes – fundamentally away from basic staple crops towards protein. To produce protein of high quality and efficiently requires a degree of technical sophistication that can be very challenging. The State of Uttar Pradesh, India’s largest State, has some 200 million people. There are over two million dairy farmers. In NZ there are some 10,000 dairy farmers. The State of Uttar Pradesh and NZ produce approximately the same amount of milk. The two dairy industries are literally worlds apart.

This provides, I believe, the context for the China-New Zealand Dairy Exchange Centre. The platform for this is of course the FTA between our two countries – China’s first with a developed country. This has led to an extraordinary increase in trade in dairy between us and without that platform, we would not be here today. But the character of our future partnership in dairy is changing rapidly and this initiative is a part of that shift. Some of China’s largest and most efficient companies are starting to invest in New Zealand – and we very much welcome that. Equally, Fonterra is starting to invest seriously in milk production in China. Given the size even of current demand, let alone projections of future consumption, it is literally impossible for New Zealand to meet anything other than a small part of China’s dairy consumption.

What I think is exciting about this development is that it links in with that broader development agenda I tried to describe. There is a future for sophisticated, productive Chinese dairying – Fonterra is a cooperative and it would not be investing its shareholders’ money here – and their shareholders are all farmers - if this were not the case. There are good jobs for young Chinese in the dairy industry but they need training to be part of a modern dairy industry. The key to this is technology, applied in an intelligent way to the needs of the market.

Given the vast size of China, there are obviously limits to what we can do to spread good ideas and good practices, but we are 100% committed to doing what we can. And in any event, what is important is to seed good ideas strategically in one or two places and watch what happens. Good news travels fast so we need to make this work.

Thank you

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

  • Second Readings To Continue
  • House Rises Interrupting RNZ Bill
  • Standards Bill Progresses
  • Controversy Over Non-Controversial Bill
  • Questions and Answers – May 19
  • Parliament Today 19-05-15
  • Environmental Reporting Bill Progresses
  • Access Week in Parliament 19-05-15

  • TPPA: University Of Auckland Warns Of Negative TPP Impact

    The University of Auckland May 20, 2015 University of Auckland Warns of Negative TPP Impact With the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiation drawing to a close, the University of Auckland has expressed serious concerns about its potential implications. ... More>>

    NZ Flag: Flag Referendum Gets Hit Hard In New Poll

    The latest Campbell Live text poll confirms it is time for the Prime Minister to listen to the public and shelve his flag referendum, says the New Zealand First Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters. More>>

    Gordon Campbell: The Government’s Belated Moves On Property Speculation

    Is it a property tax on capital gains or a capital gains tax on property? The Jesuitical distinctions in the government’s spin about its latest moves on property speculators are all about whether the government can claim that it jumped, or confess that it ... More>>

    Grant Robertson:
    Key Can’t Just Be Prime Minister For Parnell

    John Key must show New Zealanders in next week’s Budget that he is more than the Prime Minister for Parnell, and is also the Prime Minister for Pine Hill, Putararu and Palmerston North, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. In a ... More>>

    Labour Party: More Regional Jobs Go In Corrections Reshape

    News that 194 Corrections staff are to lose their jobs will have ramifications not only for them and their families but for the wider community, Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. Prison units at Waikeria, Tongariro and Rimutaka ... More>>

    ALSO:

  • NZ First - Prison Job Losses to Send Money Offshore
  • TPPA: ‘Team Obama’ Regroups On Fast Track, Still Not Deliverable

    ‘After yesterday’s stinging and unexpected defeat for the Obama administration’s attempt to advance Fast Track legislation in the US Senate, Senate leaders have worked up a compromise they think will get them past this blockage’, according to Auckland ... More>>

    NZ Government: 5,500 More Doctors And Nurses In Our Hospitals

    Health Minister Jonathan Coleman says a record number of doctors and nurses are working in District Health Boards across the country. More>>

    Controller and Auditor General: Katherine Rich Conflict of Interest Decision

    We are writing to you about a matter that has been raised with us by members of the public. More>>

    ALSO:


    Budget 2015: Andrew Little On The 2015 Budget

    Speaking to the Chamber of Commerce, the Labour opposition leader attacked the government’s approach to economic issues facing New Zealand. He said they have been “more than reckless in their complacency” and “the next week’s budget will do nothing ... More>>

    Defence Force: NZDF Building Partner Capacity Mission Personnel In Iraq

    NZDF Building Partner Capacity Mission Personnel in Iraq The New Zealand Defence Force Building Partner Capacity training mission contingent is in place at Taji Military Complex in Iraq. The Chief of Defence Force Lieutenant General Tim Keating says the ... More>>

    PM Press Conference: ACC Levy Cuts Announced

    In a press conference this afternoon in Wellington, ACC Minister Nikki Kaye proposed $500 million worth of ACC levy cuts. More>>

    Quakes: New Process For Red Zone Crown Offers

    Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee has announced a process to give everyone a say on the Crown offers to owners of vacant, commercial/industrial and uninsured properties in the Residential Red Zone. More>>

    ALSO:

    Gordon Campbell: On The Battle Obama Is Waging Over The TPP

    For the past two and a half years, this column has been arguing that the fate of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) deal will hinge on whether US President Barack Obama can win Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) from Congress... Last week, the White House finally, finally unveiled a draft TPA Bill. More>>

    ALSO:


    Gordon Campbell: On lessons for Labour from the UK election
    If the polls were right – and the pollsters kept telling us how accurate they’d been in 2010, and even Nate Silver was getting the same results – there seemed no way that the British Labour Party could lose last Thursday’s British election. With Labour predicted to win around 270 seats and the Scottish National Party batting around 55-60 seats, Labour seemed to be home free. But…as we now know, things didn’t turn out that way. Labour ended up with 232 seats and the Conservatives swept back to power with an outright majority, after winning only a little more than a third ( 36.9%) of the votes cast.MORE >>
    Also.

  • NZ PM John Key - PM congratulates David Cameron after UK election
  • The Nation IV Transcript - Hack Attack author Nick Davies
  • Get More From Scoop

     

    LATEST HEADLINES

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
    Parliament
    Search Scoop  
     
     
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news