Veterinary Agreement to boost EU-New Zealand trade in animal products

Technical amendments to the EU-New Zealand Agreement on sanitary measures in live animals and animal products have recently been made to boost existing trade relations. This updated agreement, which has been in place since 1996, is the most advanced international bilateral agreement in the area of animal health, animal welfare and food safety systems.

Key innovative features that will lead to further trade opportunities whilst reducing costs for exporters are:

  • Enhanced equivalence provisions including EU standards for raw milk products;
  • Mutual recognition of microbiological controls and chemical testing standards for seafood;
  • Trade conditions to permit trade in certain products with agreed treatments during disease outbreaks;
  • Reduced physical inspection rates on products;
  • Resumption of fresh pig meat exports to New Zealand; and
  • Simplified certification and a move to electronic certification in 2016.

Worth €427 million in 2014, EU agricultural exports to New Zealand have increased significantly with a 20% annual average growth over the last five years. Several key commodities have also experienced high growth over recent years including pork products and cheese. New Zealand has authorised imports of high value raw milk products, such as Roquefort, Camembert and Emmental and fresh pig meat, from the EU. Both these products have significant potential for growth.  New Zealand was also the very first country in the world to re-authorise exports of EU beef following the BSE crisis.

Other important benefits of cooperation between the EU and New Zealand are:

  • The EU and New Zealand are complementary suppliers of high-quality products.  Because New Zealand is in the southern hemisphere, their production and exports peak in a way that is counter-cyclical to EU pastoral producers.  This means products from New Zealand complement those from the EU, maintaining year round availability of certain products.
  • The EU is New Zealand’s largest source of imported goods and services.
  • Through the mutual recognition of regionalisation under the Agreement, trade in animal products such as pork to continue, despite recent EU outbreaks of African Swine Fever, from regions that remain unaffected by the disease.

These benefits bring substantial economic incentives and maintain sustainable trade flows between both parties.

For more details:

Commission Implementing Decision (EU) 2015/1084 of 18 February 2015 approving on behalf of the European Union certain amendments to Annexes II, V, VII and VIII to the Agreement between the European Community and New Zealand on sanitary measures applicable to trade in live animals and animal products (notified under document C(2015) 797), OJ L 175, 4.7.2015, p. 45–123.

(Source: DG Sante website)

Thank God it’s Friday! Quick news from the food world (Week 40)

Here’s my article’s selection for the week:

ASIA

– Sri Lanka suspends sale of Fonterra milk powder batches over illnesses, by Mark Astley+ , on foodnavigator-asia.com: Sri Lanka has suspended the sale of three batches of Fonterra-made Anchor milk powder after complaints of illness in children. The company is heavily criticizing the testing methods adopted by Authorities.

CHOCOLATE

– Chocolate for the summertime: Hershey develops heat resistant chocolate, by Oliver Nieburg+, on confectionerynews.com: Hershey has developed its own method to produce chocolate that can withstand hot climates following similar moves from Mondelēz, Mars and Nestlé.

EU – UK

– UK’s traffic light label is ‘negative’, says Commission, by Annie-Rose Harrison-Dunn+ , 06-Oct-2014, on foodnavigator.com: the UK’s traffic light label has incited more objections than the Nordic keyhole system because the former is more negative in its nutrition guidance, says the European Commission.

– Horsemeat rears its head again, as firm is fined £5,000, by Laurence Gibbons+, on foodmanufacture.co.uk: Horsemeat has reared its head again after food import firm Expo Foods Ltd was fined £5,000, yesterday (October 2), after its pork sausagemeat was found to contain nearly 50% horsemeat.

– Does ‘history of safe consumption’ mean foods are safe?, by Annie-Rose Harrison-Dunn+ , on foodnavigator.com: proposals to create a separate process for novel food approval from countries outside of the EU will not see the market flooded with unsafe foods, a European Commission official told a concerned audience at a European Parliament workshop.

– Hot political potatoes: DG SANCO head talks suspended caffeine and bowel botanical claims, by Annie-Rose Harrison-Dunn+ , on nutraingredients.com: the pending health claims for caffeine and bowel-function botanical hydroxyanthracene are the “hot potatoes” being dealt with by EFSA and the European Commission, according to the head of the Commission’s unit for nutrition, food composition and information (DG SANCO).

JAPAN

– McDonald’s Japan forecasts big 2014 loss after food safety scare, on fortune.com: facing tough competition from domestic convenience stores, McDonald’s Japan had been suffering from weak demand even before the food safety scare, in which a major Chinese supplier of chicken meat was found to be in breach of safety standards. Now the company is also under pressure in Russia, where McDonald’s it is under the aim of retorsive measures for the economic sanctions imposed by Western countries.

RUSSIA – ASF CRISIS

– MEPS demand more action to stop spread of ASF, by Méabh McMahon, in Brussels, on globalmeatnews.com: the European Commission’s response to Europe’s African swine fever (ASF) crisis was criticised at the European Parliament yesterday (Tuesday 7 October) for being too weak.

USA

– Is a new organization to define “natural” a good idea?, by Michele Simon, on foodlawfirm.com: a point of view about the discussed and abused term “natural” in US: