Dec 20, 2017 - “The Brexit and the European Plastics Converting Industry” has been published jointly by the British Plastics Federation and the European Plastics Converters Association. Brexit
A year and a half have passed since the Brexit referendum, and following months of negotiations, Theresa May and Jean-Claude Juncker announced that “sufficient progress” has been made to allow the beginning of the next phase: the talks about the future relationship between the EU and the UK.
In the light of these developments, the European Plastics Converters Association (EuPC) and the British Plastics Federation (BPF) have drafted a joint position paper, emphasising the need to develop a deep and comprehensive agreement that eliminates customs and minimises possible non-tariff barriers.
In a joint statement, Alexandre Dangis, EuPC managing director and Philip Law, BPF director-general, said: “In the interest of the European plastics converting industry, we ask the European Commission and the British Government to avoid any disturbances of the current trade with plastics and plastic products between the UK and the EU, especially in the second phase of the negotiations on possible sector trade issues.”
The BPF and EuPC stressed that plastics is an international business and the UK is the most important trade partner of the EU27 for manufactured plastic articles. In 2016, the EU27 exported goods with a trade value above €6.6bn to the UK. The same applies the other way around, in 2016, the intra EU exports of the UK amounted to over €4.5bn, which is 68% of the UK’s total plastic products exports. Additionally, there is considerable ownership of UK plastics businesses by EU companies from other member states and vice versa.
They added that restrictions to the free movement of labour could worsen the already existing shortage of qualified personnel that the European plastics converting industry is facing, and legal differences in the highly regulated plastics industry could become major barriers to international trade and investments.
The EUs flagship programme to create a circular economy can only be addressed in conjunction with the UK as a partner with the EU.
The major risks of a hard Brexit include the imposition of customs duties and other non-tariff barriers such as regulatory barriers or custom checks. Any of those barriers would have negative impacts on the highly integrated plastics converting industry. Therefore, the BPF and EuPC strongly believe that a temporary or permanent agreement should include:
The confirmation of duty-free trade between the EU27 and the UK. Mutual recognition of regulatory procedures and standards, especially REACH regulation. Customs procedures that are as efficient, simple and fast as possible.
More detailed information is available in the full joint position paper that can be found on the EuPC Website
| Source: packagingnews.co.uk || December 20, 2017 |||
Dec 15, 2017 - A Mutual Recognition Arrangement (MRA) between New Zealand and Hong Kong Customs is a step closer following the signing of an Action Plan to further progress the development of an arrangement.
Customs GM Policy, Legal and Governance, Michael Papesch signed the plan on behalf of New Zealand Customs with Assistant Commissioner (Excise and Strategic Support) Mr Jimmy Tam signing on behalf of Hong Kong Customs and Excise.
“It is an important milestone for both agencies. An MRA will lead to significant benefits for exporters and importers who trade between us, and include more streamlined customs procedures and improved customer experience of border services, while also providing greater assurance that risks will be managed appropriately so legitimate trade can flow more smoothly,” says Mr Papesch.
“By developing and implementing an MRA we will build a closer working relationship, which will enable our agencies to collaborate more closely in the future.
“In practical terms, MRAs mean that exporters who sign up to our MRA programme, the Secure Export Scheme, will be seen as a ‘low security risk’.
Dec 15, 2017 - The 11th Ministerial Conference (MC11) of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) concluded today in Buenos Aires, Argentina. “Going into this meeting we were apprehensive about what the membership could deliver. There’s a lot of concern in the world about where some of the big countries are heading on trade and whether the framework of rules we have for international trade is fit for purpose, now and for the future” said Minister for Trade and Export Growth David Parker.
“We’re pretty disappointed that on agriculture, the Conference wasn’t ready to agree to cap the subsidies that major countries give their agriculture sectors, which distort world markets and disadvantage not just our farmers but subsistence farmers in developing countries.
“Nor was there a willingness to implement rules to make the regulation of services more transparent, predictable and accessible. But I’m heartened that on both issues, members are keen to keep working, so the huge effort made to advance these negotiations since the last conference hasn’t been wasted. “
Minister Parker considered that some progress has been made on two environmental issues. “I believe that trade policy can contribute to global environmental solutions and sustainable development. New Zealand has a leadership role here. So I’m really pleased that yesterday, we started a dialogue to encourage the WTO to address the global harm being caused by fossil fuel subsidies.
Mr Parker led the effort to deliver a Ministerial statement to the WTO on Fossil Fuel Subsidy Reform (FFSR). Endorsed by twelve other WTO Members, the statement confirms the benefits for development, trade and the environment of fossil fuel subsidy reform. It includes a commitment by New Zealand and its supporters to bring the issue into the WTO.
“We were also able to take a step toward prohibiting harmful fisheries subsidies in time to meet the 2020 deadline set by Leaders’ in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 14.6. “Fisheries subsidies are a major driver of the crisis in global fisheries. Two thirds of global stocks are overfished or fully fished. Harmful subsidies have increased and fish stocks have deteriorated.
“While this week we fell short of locking down what is needed to implement SDG 14.6, members agreed that they will conclude negotiations to prohibit these kinds of subsidies before 2020. To achieve this we will need to continue negotiations toward an agreement in 2018.
Interested Members including New Zealand also agreed to continue their discussions on e-commerce and how to make trade rules deliver more for micro and small exporters.
“You never get everything you want in trade negotiations” said Mr Parker. “But overall, I’m optimistic about where we’ve ended up. At a time of considerable global uncertainty, the WTO’s members have re-confirmed how important the organisation and its rules are for their economies and their citizens.”
| A Release from the Beehive || December 14, 2017 |||
Dec 12, 2017 - The growth in New Zealand’s primary industry exports is impressive and provides the sector a strong base to deal with the challenges ahead, says Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor. The latest Situation and Outlook for Primary Industries report shows the sector’s exports will grow by 8.5 per cent in 2018, to $41.4 billion.
“This would be the largest annual increase since 2014 when dairy prices rose to very high levels,” says Mr O’Connor.
“Growth this year is spread across all sectors and these gains are expected to be built on a more sustainable foundation.”
Mr O’Connor says dairy exports are leading the way, with a forecast increase of 15 per cent to $16.8b in 2018 despite the wet spring affecting production.
“Despite a decline in cow numbers, there has been some better value for exporters. The sector continues to provide a solid base for a better future.
“Meat and wool exports are forecast to grow 4.2 per cent to $8.7b, with lamb prices looking really good and beef, mutton, and venison also doing very well.
“The forestry sector is on pace for a third consecutive year of strong export growth with exceptional demand from China. Forestry exports are forecast to reach nearly $5.7b in 2018.”
Mr O’Connor says New Zealand’s primary industries are evolving.
“Our horticulture sectors are leading the charge in producing high-value products tailored to target markets overseas. This isn’t just true for kiwifruit, wine, and apples - there are also emerging opportunities for cherries, avocados, and berries.
“We are also seeing a huge shift to high-value products in the dairy sector. For example, infant formula exports are forecast to exceed $1b in 2018 for the first time. UHT milk, yoghurt, and other specialty products are also doing very well.
“We are a primary producing nation and it is very encouraging that the prospects for the primary industries look so bright. However, New Zealand and other primary producing nations face the global challenge of sustainability – we need to provide good quality, nutritious food for a rapidly rising global population but we must do this in a way that is sustainable.
“This means placing an even greater focus on high-value production, sustainable resource use, managing the risks posed to our primary sector by harmful pests and diseases, and meeting ever changing consumer demands.”
The news is also good for other sectors:
* Horticulture exports are forecast to grow 5.2 per cent in 2018 with broad-based growth across the sector. Wine, kiwifruit, and pipfruit are all contributing to this growth story, and there is a high level of investment supporting further growth.
* Rising prices for wild capture fisheries products and aquaculture volumes are expected to contribute to a 4.4 per cent increase in seafood exports to $1.8b.
* Honey export volumes are forecast to resume growth after a dip in 2017, while exports of innovative processed foods, including dietary supplements products, are expected to resume their growth.
Dec 04, 2017 - Eagle-eyed planespotters are noticing increasing visits by cargo planes to Christchurch Airport at the moment. This signals the start of the key export season and highlights the valuable contribution local producers and exporters make to the local economy. Tasman Cargo Airlines National manager Gerry Bray says the company's Boeing 757 Freighter came into Christchurch last Sunday, bringing a variety of goods to the South Island.
He says it left with a range of high value fresh produce bound for Auckland, Sydney and beyond.
"The B757F has a payload capability of 32,000kgs and the aircraft moved nearly 24,000kgs of Sydney-bound general and perishable cargo on the first service" he says.
"The charter flight operated we operated last weekend was the first of many we hope to operate over the coming summer months," he says. "The aircraft will visit Christchurch at least weekly through December.
"It signals the start of the South Island's peak perishables export production season, with air freight in high demand for all primary producers from dairy, to fresh meat, to stone fruit and more," he says.
Christchurch Airport's Chief Aeronautical and Commercial Officer, Justin Watson, says in the year ended June 2017, more than 30,000 tonnes of air freight transited through the airport.
"Indications already suggest a bumper season of South Island exports," he says. "Our international airline partners, including Air New Zealand, Singapore Airlines, Qantas, China Southern Airlines, Emirates and Cathay Pacific, are also taking freight out every day to some of the world's leading hubs, such as Sydney, Hong Kong, Singapore, Dubai and Guangzhou.
"We anticipate a repeat of peak demand for high quality South Island produce for Chinese New Year, with extra flights this year taking cherries, chilled meat and live crayfish, among other things, to dinner tables across Asia."
| A Christchurch Airport release || December 4, 2017 |||
United States new diafiltration ingredient ignited Canada’s secessionist milk powder keg
Canada’s determination to protect its French-speaking dairy industry is emerging as the reason for its last minute defection from the Trans Pacific Partnership trade treaty. The cause of this pre-signing ceremony pull-out is increasingly being seen as the other North American defector.
This is Canada’s NAFTA partner the United States which is determined to push a new-technology milk derivative across the border into Canada.
Nov 30, 2017 - Amazon's arrival in Australia brings with it opportunities for New Zealand firms writes Wellington consultant Hamish Conway in his company, Sell Global blog. Amazon is in 11 marketplaces around the world, with 123 fulfilment centres, and buying customers in 189 countries. The States is the biggest, with the UK able to fulfil to the other 26 European countries. They’re in Japan, and China but they’re having a tough time in China. AliBaba and the WeChat Group just dominate the Chinese market, with Amazon only having something like a 5% share of the market and consistently struggling there.
So, that’s all interesting, but obviously they are about to arrive in Australia. I was recently in Australia meeting with Fabio, from Amazon, who’s setting it up and running it, and they’re hiring now, looking towards a late November/December launch. Initially this is going to be a soft launch. They don’t want to over promise and under deliver around Christmas time.
Certainly a Q1 start is when it’s going to be happening. But, they have been building the catalogue over the next few months. They are getting their catalogue full, so when they do launch, this is a great opportunity for New Zealand companies that want to really stamp their mark on the Australian market, using Amazon as a channel.
Getting in early on Amazon, and getting on that page one should be the goal of all product selling companies in NZ. 86% of sales come from being on a page one search. Getting in first, and putting your stake in the ground and going, “right, I’m going to claim the peanut butter category on Amazon,” or whatever that category might be is going to be a huge advantage. Getting there and keeping it is far easier than coming in late and trying to claim that spot.
There are all sorts of categories that’ll just be open for business. According to a recent survey, one third of Australians who shop online, which is millions of people, they have said that they will switch to Amazon. They’ll definitely be looking at Amazon when it arrives. I suspect it would be more than that once it does launch, and they start to prove their worth. Amazon is going to really change the landscape. Not only in Australia, but in New Zealand as well. They look at Australia and New Zealand as one. New Zealanders will be buying from Australia.
Amazon has its own products that they sell, largely the tech products, like Alexa and Kindle. They will also buy products from you, like wholesale. So, if they like the look of your product, they’ll go we’ll buy that. They’ll pay you as little as possible, and take for as long as they can to pay you. But enough people do that because they just think that that’s the right way to go. Actually Amazon doesn’t really look after it that well, but they do it. If you look at some products on Amazon, it’ll say “Ships and sold by Amazon” even though it’s a brand you might be aware of. Or, you can be a third party seller, of which any third party sellers can go and set up their products on Amazon.
The products that are currently in America don’t necessarily end up in Australia, so it’s going to be a whole lot of new products that are Australia and New Zealand centric. People from the States or from Asia will be sending products down to Australia into the Australian warehouses there for purchase. People probably still could shop in America for awhile, but once the inventory and catalogue builds up over time, as more suppliers or third party sellers put product in, that’s when it’s going to become bigger and bigger, and a really great opportunity for New Zealand and Australian businesses.
What is the impact from that? If you are a retailer, a brick and mortar retailer, it’s absolutely a problem. If you are a brand owner it’s good news. Being on Amazon gives you so much free traffic, and free brand awareness. For small companies breaking into Australia, it has previously been quite a tough gig, going through the traditional approach and maybe trying to get into supermarkets or through big pharmacy chains, or whatever it might be with what you’re selling. Being on Amazon, people are searching and if you’re there then they’re seeing your brand.
If you control your brand, and the distribution of it, and you’ve got your own e-Commerce store as well, Amazon is going to be a major support for that. If you’ve got products that you don’t control the distribution of then you’re in trouble. The bottom line is that it’s a huge opportunity for any business, whether they’re small and just getting going, or bigger businesses, who will need to be there, and be protecting their brand on that platform. If you aren’t selling your products on Amazon, other companies, other people, other distributors might start selling it there instead.
Nov 29, 2017 - KORU® is a new apple variety which has been grown in New Zealand for a few years now and exported to the US market. Now it is also being grown in the States and the area will increase considerably in years to come writes Nichola Watson for FreshPlaza.
"We import this apple in February and March," explains Jim Allen from New York Apple Sales. "Now we are growing it in the States too. It is an excellent eating apple, a cross between the Braeburn and Fuji apples. The Fuji gives it that high flavour and sugars and the low acid Braeburn combines them together."
Jim was at the Amsterdam Produce Show promoting the KORU® apple as it is also sold in Europe. "We are planting heavily in the US and have already harvested the New York and Washington state crops. We are in a group of three different marketers who have the right to market the apple for a grower's cooperative group who have the right to grow it. This year we harvested between 700 and 800 bins in New York and 1,500 bins in Washington state. Volumes will be increasing threefold each year in the States, just as they are in New Zealand."
The current New Zealand production is around 160,000, by 2020 they are looking at 300,000. It is a good yielding variety and a good sized apple which colours very nicely.
"We have been importing it now for 3-4 years," said Jim. "This is our second year of domestic production and KORU® is in the major retailers such as Walmart, Cosco and others. It is a hard apple which holds up very well and we are very excited about it. We think it is one of the best new apples around."
US production starts in October and runs through to January, then in February and March apples are imported from New Zealand. "What we have done this year is put some of our domestic crop in storage, we expect to bring those out a month before the new season starts. New Zealand stocks will last until August - September making an almost year round supply. This is the first year that we have put a lot in CA storage, but we have a lot of confidence that the quality will still be very good, the characteristics of the apple already point to a great storage apple."
Nov 28, 2017 - Minister for Trade and Export Growth David Parker welcomed United Kingdom Secretary of State for International Trade Liam Fox today in Wellington. “Secretary Fox and I have had an opportunity to discuss a range of issues of shared interest and to reflect on the areas of our bilateral trade relationship where we may be able to do more” says Mr Parker.
Minister Parker and Secretary Fox expressed commitment to maintaining maximum certainty and stability in bilateral trade and investment conditions as the UK prepares to leave the EU. This would include a seamless transition of the regulations governing bilateral trade and ensuring New Zealand will not be worse off in its access to the UK market as a result of the UK exiting the EU.
“The United Kingdom and New Zealand have a long-standing, deep and close relationship that is grounded in our shared history, values, institutions, and traditions.
“We are close trading partners, and maintain an ongoing dialogue to discuss trade issues, including the implications of Brexit for our existing and future trade and economic relationship” says Mr Parker.
Secretary Fox and Minister Parker discussed working closely together to identify new opportunities to advance the bilateral trade and economic relationship, including laying foundations to progress towards a comprehensive, modern, high quality free trade agreement once the UK has left the EU.
They also discussed respective approaches to ensuring all citizens share in the benefits from international trade, including by promoting regional development and providing opportunities for businesses of all sizes.
The United Kingdom is New Zealand’s fifth largest trading partner (goods and services combined), and sixth largest export market for merchandise goods.
Nov 21, 2017 - Fairtrade Australia & New Zealand has brokered an unprecedented partnership investment of AUD$1.14 million to support smallholder coconut growers in Samoa. The investment partnership, supported by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) Business Partnerships Platform, will expand the opportunities for Samoan coconut cream producers Krissy Co Ltd. and the Savai’i Coconut Farmers Association (SCFA).
The Business Partnerships Platform boosts private sector investments with companies like Krissy Co.
This partnership will enable a two-year project to increase the capacity of the supply chain producing the Fairtrade certified coconut cream Savai’i Popo, scaling up Krissy Co and Fairtrade’s impact in Samoa.
“This partnership will increase the income of smallholder coconut farming households in Samoa, create new jobs, and support the development of new Fairtrade products into Australia and New Zealand markets,” says Molly Harriss Olson, CEO of Fairtrade Australia & New Zealand.
Krissy Co Ltd. and Fairtrade Australia & New Zealand, supported by the New Zealand Government, have worked together since 2012 to initiate the development of SCFA, a smallholder farmer business which achieved Fairtrade certification in 2013.
This DFAT support will enable the Krissy Co Fairtrade partnership to scale up the impact achieved so far.
“Together, we have pioneered Samoa’s only certified Fairtrade and organic coconut cream, and have identified opportunities for a new product line with Krissy Co. that will amplify the benefits we’ve already achieved,” says Perise Mulifusi, Board Secretary of SCFA.
The partnership will support the SCFA to develop a new product line of 200-litre sized barrels of 100 per cent Fairtrade and organic coconut cream, ultra-heat treated for export, to meet current demand from the food service sector in Australia, New Zealand and other markets.
“This project alone will create over 26 new jobs for Samoans and increase the income of 200 smallholder coconut farming households on the island of Savai’i in Samoa,” explains Mr Elvis Prasad, Product Development Manager at Krissy Co.
Fairtrade Australia & New Zealand will oversee the implementation of project activities, including the improvement of processing facilities, business management support for coconut farmers, a tree replanting pilot programme and contributions to Fairtrade Premium investments addressing community development.
“Helping Samoan farmers to grow their businesses is a vital part of our work in the Pacific. This funding will enable producers to invest in their communities and enhance Samoa’s economic future,” Ms Harriss Olson concludes.
| A Fairtrade ANZ release || November 21, 2017 |||