Visit Of Ec Agriculture Commissioner, Dr Franz Fischler

  • Dr Lockwood Smith

The European Commissions Agriculture Commissioner, Dr Franz Fischler, is to visit New Zealand from February 2-5.

Agriculture and International Trade Minister Lockwood Smith says the visit is an important one.

This will be the first visit to this country by a European Agriculture Commissioner since 1980. It reflects the strength of the agricultural relationship between the European Union and New Zealand, he said.

During his time in New Zealand Dr Fischler will visit farms, a kiwifruit orchard, vineyards and Lincoln University.

Dr Fischler is keen to see at first hand how New Zealand farmers have adapted to and benefitted from the economic changes of the past decade, including life without subsidies, Dr Smith said.

The Commissioner will also be talking to Ministers on a range of issues of agricultural trade interest.

Dr Fischler comes from Austria, where he has been a director of the Tyrol Chamber of Agriculture and, more recently, Federal Minister for Agriculture and Forestry.

During his New Zealand visit Dr Fischler plans to hold a media briefing. It is scheduled to be held at the Raffles Room of the Stamford Plaza Hotel, Auckland, between noon and 12.30pm on Wednesday February 5.