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NZ Interests Represented at Five Nations Beef Alliance

New Zealand Beef Interests Represented at Five Nations Beef Alliance in Texas

The Trans Pacific Partnership will be a hot topic when the members of the Five Nations Beef Alliance get together in Texas this week.

Beef + Lamb New Zealand chief executive, Dr Scott Champion says while the TPP negotiation doesn’t look like it’s going to conclude soon, it is the one thing that would give all five countries better market access for beef exports and so it’s a priority.

The Five Nations Beef Alliance is a group of beef producers from New Zealand (represented by Beef + Lamb New Zealand), Australia, United States, Canada and Mexico. Together these five nations account for about half of the world’s beef exports.

Champion says the group’s focus is improved trading conditions and the elimination of tariffs. The work the alliance has been doing in relation to the TPP negotiation is a particularly good demonstration of how it can be useful for Kiwi farmers to work with other farmers offshore.

“The Five Nations Beef Alliance as a group of beef exporters has been able to stand together and put forward a coherent and united view. We are a much stronger force together than we would be as individual organisations. That includes the weight that we add to US beef farmers’ lobbying efforts with US lawmakers on the Hill in Washington.”

Champion says negotiating trade deals takes time and farmers would rather see a good deal than a quick one.

“You only get one shot at a big regional free trade agreement like this one and we’d rather the focus stayed on the best deal for New Zealand beef farmers than on rushing it through.”

This year’s Five Nations Beef Alliance meeting will include a young leaders’ programme. New Zealand has two people taking part: James Bryan and Lauren McWilliam.

Bryan works for Ravensdown as a technical advisor and is actively involved in the management of his family farm – a 660ha sheep and beef property in the heart of the King Country.

McWilliam is a field officer for New Zealand Young Farmers and helps to manage a sheep and beef property in the Wairarapa, where she and her partner are building their own beef herd.

Other topics of discussion during the alliance meeting will include sustainability, animal welfare, farmer communications and extension, and the current state of the global beef industry. Champion says it is also a good opportunity for New Zealand participants to get a better understanding of the state of beef supply and demand in the USA – New Zealand’s largest market for beef – where demand is strong at present.


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