President of the New Zealand – Canada Business Association and co-founder of Kim Crawford Wines – Erica Crawford, spoke out in favor of TPP calling the agreement a potentially significant one for winemakers. ” New Zealand wine exports to TPP markets are currently nearing $400m, but with TPP we see know reason for that not to double”
“TPP will benefit the small and medium sized businesses that the wine industry in New Zealand is largely made of because it will attract investment”. This investment should improve the route to market for NZ wine, an area which had traditionally caused issues for winemakers according to Crawford.
In particular, the opportunities that TPP could open for winemakers in Canada, the newest member at the negotiation table was important. “Presently it is an onerous job just to get New Zealand wine to sit on the shelf in Canada.”
In Canada, liquor distribution is a government controlled matter in 9 out of 10 provinces with Alberta being the lone exception. Maintaining a privatized distribution network for liquor presented unique challenges. Relaxing the rules and homogenizing the process for getting New Zealand products into Canada was an enormous opportunity according to Crawford.
“Despite our affinity and similarity [to Canada], trade has flatlined for years. There are significant barriers in place and if these are able to be overcome by TPP, there are forty million more people waiting on the doorstep.”