Cutting Barriers To Meat Trade Across The Tasman

  • John Luxton
International Trade

Food and Fibre Minister John Luxton today welcomed news that doors into Australia have opened for the New Zealand meat industry and for food containing meat such as pies.

The export provisions in New Zealand's Meat Act were recently revised so that meat and meat products going to Australia no longer need to pass through premises licensed for export by MAF. In response, the Australian Quarantine Inspection Service (AQIS) has removed the need for import permits on a range of meat and meat products, and no longer requires MAF certification on these items.

"This is good news for New Zealand exporters because it levels the playing field at long last. The food industry contributes more than half of our export earnings. For companies such as our pie makers at last the way is clear to get their products into Australian markets and into Australian mouths."

"There are a number of niche markets that New Zealand food producers can develop with our next door neighbour. This latest agreement with Australia is most welcome."

"New Zealand law still requires that all food be produced in compliance with the Food Act or Meat Act, so there is no change in those provisions. What it does mean is that local producers selling meat items in the domestic New Zealand market will now be able to sell products containing beef, sheep meat and venison in the Australian market."

Food safety is already covered in a range of trans-Tasman arrangements on the animal health side. New Zealand has recently relaxed import requirements for meat and meat products coming from Australia, with controls at the State, rather than federal level seen as providing adequate assurance of freedom from diseases of concern.

The Government will continue to look for ways of eliminating unnecessary controls on the movement of our primary products into foreign markets.