The first shipment of New Zealand sheepmeat will be delivered to Iran later this month, the country’s Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy said.
“This is great news for Taylor Preston and the wider meat industry,” Guy said as quoted by Scoop News on Saturday.
“It is only the start of what we are hoping will grow to become an important new market for our exporters…In the 1980s Iran took around one in every four sheep we exported, so it has great potential. It is the second largest economy in the Middle East and North Africa region,” he added.
“Iran has a growing economy and is heavily reliant on imported food. At the same time, New Zealand has a strong reputation as a producer of safe, high-quality and nutritious red meat…over time this could become a significant market for particularly lamb, but in the future, it could be beef as well,” the official continued.
“This new opportunity follows my visit to Iran in February where I witnessed an agreement between the Iranian Veterinary Organization (IVO) and the New Zealand Ministry for Primary Industries providing the conditions for chilled and frozen sheep and beef exports to resume. It’s more positive news for the red meat industry with 10 establishments about to start a six-month trial sending chilled meat to China. It’s been a tough year for sheep farmers so these significant market access opportunities will be warmly received on farm,” Guy further said.
“Opening up new markets for our exporters is a major priority for the Government. This year we updated our trade strategy Trade Agenda 2030 with the ambitious goal of having free trade agreements cover 90 per cent of New Zealand’s goods exports by 2030, up from 53 per cent today. An extra $91.3 million over four years through Budget 2017 is going to help achieve this.”
During his visit, the minister held talks with Iranian Agriculture Minister Mahmoud Hojjati and inked a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Islamic Republic paving the way for resumption of meat exports to the second-biggest economy in the Middle East and North Africa region.
(Source: Tasnim, under Creative Commons licence)