Welsh lamb industry to welcome NZ delegates

The Welsh red meat levy board Hybu Cig Cymru – Meat Promotion Wales (HCC) is this week hosting representatives from Beef + Lamb New Zealand (BLNZ). 

Delegates will discuss trade relations regarding the uncertainty of access and quotas post-Brexit. Tomorrow, Thursday 2 February, BLNZ director Andrew Morrison will be joined by Europe regional manager Ben O’Brien to lead discussions in Aberystwyth.  

Under current regulations, New Zealand has the freedom to export up to 228,000 tonnes (t) of sheepmeat to the European Union free of tariffs. Currently, around of half of New Zealand’s lamb exports come to the UK.

“We are pleased to welcome Andrew Morrison and Ben O’Brien to Wales, and to provide an opportunity for farmers’ organisations to raise issues of concern to their members,” said HCC chairman Dai Davies.

“This is an uncertain time for the industry. The major issue over which both parties will want clarification in the coming months is how much of the current EU quota allocation for New Zealand lamb will be taken up by the UK after Brexit, and how much by the rest of Europe. Wales’ agricultural industry must also have a strong voice in any future trade discussions between the UK and New Zealand governments,” he explained.

“Of course, the PGI Welsh Lamb and New Zealand Lamb brands are in competition in the UK market and in many other parts of the world. However, there are also areas where Wales and New Zealand can co-operate, particularly in emerging markets overseas. Our complementary peak seasons can help build a year-round demand for lamb in new territories.”

He concluded by welcoming the opportunity to work alongside Wales’ New Zealand counterparts: “I look forward to a constructive dialogue with our colleagues from BLNZ, and to building understanding as our industry looks to navigate these uncertain times.”

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