The New Zealand Meat Board (NZMB) now oversees $2.6 billion of red meat exports to the quota markets of the European Union, United Kingdom and United States, meaning tariff savings of $934 million a year for the sector, attendees were told at the Board’s Annual Meeting last week.

The savings comprise $609 million for EU and UK sheepmeat and goatmeat, $6.8 million for EU high quality beef and $317 million for US beef and veal.

NZMB Chair Kate Acland told attendees at the online Annual Meeting on March 15 that the NZMB’s administrative role has expanded significantly since the board’s establishment more than a century ago.

“The NZMB has been working in the background for more than a century, ensuring seamless market access for our goods, and it’s also been funding industry good projects for many years.

“Prior to the UK’s exit from the EU, the NZMB administered three World Trade Organization (WTO) quotas.

“Two quotas were added following Brexit and a further two as a result of the NZ-UK Free Trade Agreement (FTA). A further three quotas will be added when the NZ-EU FTA enters into force, bringing the total to 10 quotas.”

There was strong interest in beef access under the new tariff free UK FTA beef quota, delivering positive signals into this market, she said.

“Between May 2023 and December 31 2023, more than 1,700 tonnes entered under this new quota with tariff savings of $9.9 million.

“Preparation for the EU FTA is underway and it is anticipated implementation requirements can be concluded for entry into force by mid-2024.”

Sam McIvor, chief executive of the NZMB, said the Board’s work during 2023/24 included planning to establish the management systems for administering the new FTA quotas.

“With support from the New Zealand Government, the NZMB successfully secured paperless quota certification in the US quota market, realising significant economic benefits for exporters. The Board is now seeking expansion of paperless quota certification to other quota markets.”

The NZMB also administers significant farmer reserves, currently standing at $79 million, held as a contingency fund to help New Zealand re-enter export markets in the event of a biosecurity incursion or disruption in quota markets.

Interest from this fund is used for industry-good projects. Following consultation with farmers, the Board is now considering proposals to allocate up to $700,000 in ongoing investment to the Informing New Zealand Beef (INZB) genetics programme and up to $1 million into a new programme focused on eradicating facial eczema in sheep.

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Kate Acland, NZMB Chair

Sam McIvor, NZMB CEO