New Agricultural Trade Envoy appointedPrimary Industries Trade
Trade Minister Tim Groser and Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy today announced the appointment of Mike Petersen to the position of New Zealand Special Agriculture Trade Envoy (SATE).
The role is to advocate for New Zealand’s agriculture trade interests, from the perspective of a practising farmer.
“In the immediate term, Petersen’s priority will be to coordinate support among international farmer groups for a comprehensive outcome on agriculture in the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade negotiations,” says Mr Groser.
“More broadly, he will be tasked with telling the story of New Zealand’s agriculture success in a post-subsidy world. New Zealand farmers are the least subsidised in all OECD member countries.”
Mike Petersen is a sheep and beef farmer from the Hawke's Bay, and is currently serving as Chairman of Beef + Lamb New Zealand. He has held a variety of other governance roles in the primary sector.
“Mr Petersen is well qualified for this job and will be an enthusiastic advocate for both farming and trade liberalisation. I’ve enjoyed working with him in his time at Beef + Lamb and wish him well for this important new job,” says Mr Guy.
“Ministers have also tasked Mr Petersen with identifying opportunities for New Zealand to commercialise its agricultural expertise offshore.”
Petersen replaces Alistair Polson, who has held the SATE role since 2005. Ministers expressed their appreciation for Mr Polson’s efforts.
“Mr Polson has made an outstanding contribution to New Zealand’s trade interests over many years, including helping to progress several new trade agreements as well as working to promote market-based reforms in mature markets, such as the European Union,” says Mr Groser.
Mr Petersen will formally take up his role on 1 July 2013.