The ability for regions to declare themselves GE-Free in crops, forestry, and grasses won with the support of the Maori Party is a marketing advantage.
New Zealand’s free trade deal with China, our biggest market, has seen investment in New Zealand because of the assurance of quality and GE-Free status.
A Nielsen survey showed that 70% of Chinese consumers were avoiding GMOs in foods and actively seeking to buy GE-free produce.
Responding to USA consumer demand, Fonterra has also launched products specifying their GE-free status.
These real-world market trends signal the significance of the third reading of the Resource Legislation Amendment (RLA) Bill which was passed after the Maori Party was able to preserve the right for councils to regulate, in their plans, genetically modified (GMO) crops, including grass and forestry crops.
Originally, the Minister for the Environment had wanted to prohibit all land use regulations on GMOs in council plans, but then compromised and exempted GM crops in general.
Through rigorous negotiations, the Maori Party was able to remove 43A and 43B and amend 360D, inserting a new clause that included all GE plants, including forestry and grasses, but not GE animals.
It is GE animals that represent a risk to New Zealand's reputation. Any commercialisation for GE animals is a concern to many, as field trials have shown that the transgenic manipulations are costly and cause intense suffering to the animals. 
Any large-scale release of GE animals would breach ethical and moral standards of humane husbandry New Zealand has spent years upholding, and would undermine New Zealand's brand image among consumers overseas.
“It is in the interest of the whole country that total GE-free production is preserved and regions can proceed to protect their businesses from any GE contamination,” said Jon Carapiet national spokesperson for GE-Free NZ.
“The removal of the GE clauses from the RMA amendments was a great outcome for democracy, upheld by the Maori Party and everyone who has fought for the regions being able to declare themselves GE-free. But the prospect of GE animals remains a significant threat.”
The latest data from Statistics New Zealand show wine exports to the USA have surpassed $500 million for the first time , up 11% in the last year.
As the wine industry advances towards its goal of $2 billion of exports in 2020, there is significant potential for further growth in North America said Philip Gregan , CEO of New Zealand Winegrowers.
New Zealand wine, especially Sauvignon Blanc, is very popular in the US and we expect consumer demand to continue to grow.
The new record level of wine exports into the world’s largest and most competitive market is an outstanding achievement for New Zealand wine exporters and testifies to the strong global demand for our wines
New Zealand wine exports reached a new record of $1.63 billion in March year end 2017. Wine is now New Zealand’s fifth largest export good by value.
The announcement of the new export records come at a busy time for the wine sector with the 2017 vintage nearing completion and the advent of International Sauvignon Blanc Day celebrations on Friday 5 May.
| A New Zealand Winegrowers release || May 03, 2017 |||
If the UK adopts a 'New Zealand trade model' to source more affordable deals for its consumers, it could have a profound effect on olive oil exporters that have faced hurdles when exporting to EU countries.
At the end of March, UK Minister Theresa May officially triggered Article 50 of the Treaty of Lisbon, setting in motion the two-year negotiation process of Britain leaving the European Union – or as it’s more commonly referred to, Brexit.
The move signals a fundamental change in the way the EU and Britain will conduct trade now and in the future. Not only will this affect trade agreements between the UK and the EU (allowing the UK to freely sell goods to EU countries without incurring additional import taxes), but it’s also set to have a massive impact on food imports which could create new trade opportunities for olive oil producers and exporters located outside of the EU.
The UK currently has a strong reliance on food imports, with an estimated 27 percent of all food eaten in the UK (by value) and 40 percent of all fresh produce coming from the EU. In total, 2016 saw £47.5 billion ($60.8 billion) in food and agricultural products being imported into the UK, of which over 70 percent came from the EU. It’s a need that the UK itself cannot support, with just 164,000 of crop-growing land.
Thanks to Brexit, it is estimated that the prices for imported goods will rise by at least eight percent, with prices for items like olive oil expected to rise by up to 20 percent due to the fact that producers in countries like Italy and Greece have been experiencing poor harvests over the past few months. This price increase is unlikely to change despite any new trade deals brokered between the EU and the UK, thanks to the costly, increased border and customs controls that Brexit will require.
Dutch multinational food and agriculture finance banking company Rabobank has suggested that a solution might be found in the UK adopting a “New Zealand-style trade model,” which would see the elimination of food import tariffs altogether, opening the market to exporters outside of Europe who can offer UK customers similar products at a more favorable price.
One of the import areas where this could occur is olive oil, with UK MP and Prime Minister’s trade envoy to Morocco and Tunisia Andrew Murrison even suggesting that smaller countries with an export capacity (such as Tunisia) could be the key to a more readily available, competitively priced source of olive oil for UK consumers.
In recent years, Tunisia has outstripped several European countries in olive oil production and while the EU currently has waived taxes on up to 35,000 tons of olive oil imports until the end of the year, it is a move that that has not been well received by European farmers, many of whom fear that introducing a cheaper olive oil source into the EU market will undercut local producers.
If the UK does decide to open adopt a more free market approach, it could pose bad news to EU olive oil exporters, who will lose their preferential access to UK buyers via a single market.
Other olive oil producing countries such as Australia might also be able to benefit from Brexit, where farmers have previously complained that the stringent labeling and marketing requirements for exporting olive oil (as well as the subsidization and tariff protection of European goods) make selling to EU markets a significant challenge.
Zespri officially opened its Middle East office in Dubai earlier this week to manage its growing sales and marketing programmes in this region and other developing markets.
Zespri Chief Executive Lain Jager said at the event that Zespri was growing its presence across the Middle East, India and Africa and the new office would support this growth.
“More consumers in the UAE and these regions are enjoying the great taste of premium quality, healthy Zespri Kiwifruit, with sales set to increase by more than 50 percent over the next five years to over 4 million trays of New Zealand fruit and over 2 million trays of global supply (Northern Hemisphere) fruit.
“Zespri’s gold variety SunGold has proved particularly popular with consumers in the Middle East who enjoy its sweet, juicy taste and powerful health properties. Our team in-market is working hard to expand distribution across the region to introduce more consumers to our premium quality fruit and get more of them to buy Zespri Kiwifruit each week,” says Mr Jager.
Zespri’s aim is to grow overall kiwifruit consumption around the world and increase kiwifruit’s share of the global fruitbowl from a fraction of a percent, and building new markets like the Middle East, India and the United States is a key part of this.
A Maori cultural delegation led by kaumatua Kihi Ngatai officially opened and blessed the new office, installing a traditional Maori whakairo (carving) in the office. The carving is named Te Hau Marama which translates to the Wind of Understanding and embraces traditional architecture of the region which takes advantage of desert winds to keep a comfortable breeze for its inhabitants. The carving is made of kauri, traditionally used for pare (lintels) over doorways in wharenui (tribal meeting houses) in New Zealand which provided a boundary between the physical world outside and the spiritual world inside the wharenui.
It is made by James Tapiata who has made several other carvings for Zespri offices in New Zealand and around the world.
Trade Minister Todd McClay will travel to Brussels for Free Trade Agreement (FTA) talks with the European Union (EU) this weekend and will then go on to London for a meeting of Commonwealth Trade Ministers.
'The simple aim of my visit to Brussels is to meaningfully advance efforts to commence our FTA negotiations with the EU,' Mr McClay says.
'The EU is our third largest trading partner with annual two-trade closing in on $21 billion. It is immensely important that we continue to fight on behalf of our exporters for improved access and reduced tariffs.'
In London, Mr McClay will look to progress discussion on ways the Commonwealth can expand trade between members. He will also chair a roundtable discussion with his ministerial counterparts before meeting bilaterally with British Secretary of State for International Trade Liam Fox.
'This is an excellent chance to discuss the direct trade opportunities that arise for New Zealand in a post-Brexit environment,' Mr McClay says.
'New Zealand is a trading nation, trade liberalisation and fair access to markets are essential for the continued growth and stability of our economy.'
Honey, Meat, Fish and Fresh Fruit Among the Cargoes Carried
Since American Airlines Cargo launched a new service between Los Angeles (LAX) and the New Zealand city of Auckland (AKL) in mid-2016, the carrier has seen consistent, rapid expansion—a developing story perfectly illustrated by the short notice shipment of a world renowned honey.
Manuka honey, lauded for its healing properties, is produced in New Zealand by bees that pollinate the native manuka plant. The transport of this honey, which is used in the treatment of a number of illnesses from sore throats to digestive problems, requires delicate handling.
Usually the honey is moved by ocean freight, but recently, on short notice, American was called upon to carry the honey for the first time; a 19,000-pound shipment from AKL to LAX and then on to London Heathrow (LHR)—and did so swiftly and smoothly in order to meet deadlines for a contract in the UK.
Lamb shipments from AKL have also exceeded expectations since the launch of this route, providing a level of confidence that has resulted in additional high-volume lamb shipments for the approaching Easter holiday.
“Customers across New Zealand are benefiting from the tremendous scope of American’s global network,” said Carolyn Evans, country manager for GSA Cargo—the airline’s global sales agent in Australasia. “Conversely, the onwards connections from the Los Angeles gateway to both Europe and South America are proving particularly popular because of the number of industries that need to airfreight goods out of New Zealand. Today, more than 50 percent of what we export is bound for destinations beyond Los Angeles.”
Typical LAX-AKL flights now contain both general freight and perishable cargo with items such as medical equipment, locks, and printed matter, alongside the more traditional meat, fish and fresh fruit products for which New Zealand has long been associated.
“We are currently gearing up for another big fruit and flower season in 2017,” added Evans, who noted that recent bad weather including snow on the south island has impacted exports, which have delayed the season slightly. “Sub-tropicals, like passion fruit, will soon be coming on stream—and in the meantime, we are busy with wine, shoes, wool products and band equipment.”
American provides a daily, direct flight from New Zealand to LAX with its new Boeing 787 aircraft, offering connections beyond the U.S. to China, Japan, London, and Sao Paulo.
With exporting a hot topic, it’s time for those in the industry to share their success stories with the rest of New Zealand.Entries are now open to the Air New Zealand Cargo ExportNZ Awards 2017 – and Auckland and Waikato and judges are wanting to hear how exporters have triumphed over adversity to build a successful business.
New Zealand is a trading nation and our exporters are vital to New Zealand’s economy, which has come under the spotlight with recent global events that indicate a move to more protectionist policies, says Catherine Lye, Regional Manager of ExportNZ Auckland, Waikato & Bay of Plenty.
“Which is why these awards are crucial as we need to recognise the role of exporters in our country, celebrate their stories and journey so far, and learn how they’ve overcome highs and lows to succeed in the world of exporting.
“The very nature of exporting means these operators often have a more significant presence offshore, than onshore, and the awards are an excellent way we can share their success stories, along with the challenges they need to overcome.”
For the year ended June 2016 exports of goods and services accounted for 28% (NZ$70.9 billion) of New Zealand’s GDP. The goal is to build this to 40% by 2025.
ExportNZ Auckland has been running the awards since 2009, as part of its mission to champion the value of exporting for New Zealand and New Zealanders.
Since 2016 the awards have also included exporters from the Waikato region too.
Entries for the awards are now open and close on March 17.
Air New Zealand Cargo ExportNZ Awards 2017
Award categories: 1. Westpac Exporter of the Year (export revenue over $25million) 2. Ports of Auckland Exporter of the Year (export revenue $10million - $25million) 3. BDO Exporter of the Year (export revenue $5million - $10million) 4. DHL Exporter of the Year (export revenue $1million - $5million) 5. Endace Services Exporter of the Year (export revenue $1million - $10million) 6. Baldwins Intellectual Property Best Use of Commercialisation for Export 7. Supreme Winner (selected from the winners of award categories 2-5) 8. Fairfax Media Exporters Champion (for exemplary services to export)
ExportNZ Auckland and Waikato are divisions of the Employers and Manufacturers Association. The 2017 awards will be presented at a black-tie gala dinner on Thursday, June 29 at Sky City Convention Centre.
Over 600 players and more than 3,000 fans had a new experience at one of the USA’s largest junior rugby tournaments, thanks to one of a kind portable Junior Rugby Packaposts designed by New Zealand company Packaworld International.
The Rhinos Rugby Stomp was hosted by Rhinos Rugby Club on Sunday 29 January at Great Park in the city of Irvine, California. The tournament featured Under 14 age group teams from nine clubs across California.
Junior rugby is often played without posts, particularly in the US, where many sports fields are set up for other sports.Rhinos Rugby Program Director Elvis Seveali’i, a former Manu Samoa rugby star, said the free-standing inflatable Junior Rugby Packaposts brought an extra dimension to the tournament, and had massive potential to help grow grass-roots rugby in the USA.
“These are the perfect size for children. It gives the effect that they’re playing in the real game, and this will be a major factor in attracting new players to the game of rugby.”
Mr Seveali’i said it was important for junior players to build up basic skills, create good habits and establish solid fundamentals.
The lack of posts at junior level meant kicking was not introduced to the game until around the age of 16 or 18, when senior rugby posts could be used. The portable Packaposts could be transported in a small car, did not damage artificial fields and had the potential to enable kicking and make the junior game closer to senior rugby, he said.
“These posts are going to make such a difference. I think it’s a great idea.”
Mr Seveali’i said the turnout at this year’s Rhinos Rugby Stomp had been excellent thanks to a major influx of players over the past year in the growth sport of rugby.
“A lot of the rugby community was there. The kids had a great time and it was fantastic to see so many supporters on what turned out to be a huge day for junior rugby in California.”
This year’s honours in the Under 14 division went to the Belmont Shore Under 14s team from Long Beach, with Irvine Rhinos, Belmont Shore Under 10s and Souths Rhinos from Santa Margarita victorious in the Under 12, Under 10 and Under 8 divisions respectively.
New Zealand’s top two export commodities, meat and dairy, both fell by value in 2016, Statistics New Zealand said today.
The total value of all export goods was $48.4 billion for the year ended December 2016, down $544 million from the previous year. This is the second annual fall in a row for exports. The latest annual total is $1.6 billion less than the high of the 2014 year.
The biggest fall by value was for meat and edible offal, our second largest export group, with sales down $909 million to $5.9 billion. The fall in meat was driven by beef (down $481 million) and lamb (down $415 million). The United States accounted for three-quarters of the fall in beef, while the European Union (EU) accounted for nearly half of the fall in lamb. The amount of meat fell 7.4 percent from 2015, with beef falling 14 percent and lamb falling 4.6 percent.
“The large fall in meat exports for 2016 reflects a decline from the record meat season in 2015 for both value and quantity,” international statistics senior manager Nicola Growden said. “The 2016 year’s meat exports have returned to levels similar to those seen in 2014.”
The quantity of milk powder, butter, and cheese exported rose to a new high of 3.0 million tonnes, despite a near 3 percent fall in the value of dairy exports to $11.2 billion.
The quantity of milk powder, butter, and cheese has been rising since 2013 and is now 14 percent higher than it was then. The quantity exported to China was 25 percent of the total in 2016, slightly up from 23 percent in 2015.
The value of imported goods was $51.6 billion in 2016, down $883 million (1.7 percent) from the high of the December 2015 year. The fall was led by cheaper oil and petrol, and partly offset by a rise in cars, trucks, and parts.
Oil and petrol fell $840 million in 2016, mainly due to crude oil (down $666 million). The value of crude oil has been falling for the past four years, and is now 55 percent lower than the 2012 value ($5.7 billion). The amount of crude oil imported rose 2.3 percent in 2016, and has been increasing for the past two years.
In 2016 there was an annual trade deficit of $3.2 billion (6.6 percent of exports). This is smaller than the deficit of $3.5 billion for the December 2015 year. The trade shortfall in 2015 was the largest December year deficit since 2008.
A newly launched joint data sharing system between New Zealand and Chinese Customs will give kiwi exporters a competitive advantage, says Customs Minister Nicky Wagner.
“Having the Joint Electronic Verification System operational gives New Zealand a big advantage over other exporters to China as we are only the second country in the world to have this sort of system in place with them.
“JEVS makes the customs process simpler to accelerate border clearance, provide greater assurance over goods, and decrease the risk of goods being held up due to minor issues.
“The new joint system automatically sends New Zealand’s Certificate of Origin data to China electronically. A Certificate of Origin is important because it allows overseas clients to claim tariff benefits.
“It will give New Zealand businesses the opportunity to maximise our Free Trade Agreement with China while minimising the risk of goods being held up at the border,” Ms Wagner says.
| A Minister of Customs release | January 15, 2017 |