Chairman, ANZCO Foods
Summary of presentation
Despite existing barriers, Sir Graham Harrison’s optimism for China as a burgeoning meat export market for New Zealand was ever-present throughout his address. In the year ended June 2013, New Zealand’s beef exports to China grew eight-fold, representing our third-largest beef market. Sheep-meat numbers paint an even brighter picture, with China now our largest export market in this area.
The pace of consumer change is rapid, and exceeds even that witnessed in Korea and Taiwan in the past; consequently, “the potential for beef production to add to NZ’s exports earnings is enormous and can follow in the footsteps of dairy.”The ability to capitalise on such growth opportunities will depend on a cohesive public-private partnership, says Harrison. Difficulties are not reputational and food safety-related, but rather stem from market-access limits. Challenges such as the “tortuous” process of getting NZ export plants listed by AQSIQ in China persist, causing delays of up to four years in one case for ANZCO. Ultimately, these market-access issues “depend on official recognition of market-demand changes and eventual compliance equivalence.”
From the outset, Harrison is clear that this will require important decisions to be made as to how we prioritise limited political capital. Should the public-private partnership approach address such barriers, New Zealand can steal a march on the underdeveloped Chinese beef and sheep meat production systems, and enjoy the fruits for years to come.
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