B+LNZ chief executive Sam McIvor was asked to join a business delegation to the US with CEOs, investors, tech entrepreneurs, and leaders of some of New Zealand’s biggest corporates and iwi organisations.
He was joined by CEOs, investors, tech entrepreneurs, leaders of New Zealand’s biggest corporates and iwi organisations. Deputy Prime Minister Grant Robertson and Deputy Leader of the opposition Nicola Willis were also in attendance.
“The red meat sector is New Zealand’s biggest exporter into the US market with sales of more than $2 billion. It continues to be a fantastic opportunity for New Zealand and the delegation provided a chance to look at opportunities in the US for kiwi business,” says McIvor.
“There’s many hugely successful New Zealanders in the US who understand the market and are absolutely committed to supporting New Zealand businesses to be successful, so it was really important to discuss opportunities with them.”
McIvor took the opportunity to raise concerns with Robertson over the Government’s agricultural emissions pricing proposals in response to He Waka Eke Noa, and the deluge of environmental rules farmers have been grappling with.
“It was a chance to reiterate to the Deputy Prime Minister and Deputy Leader of the opposition the challenges our sector is facing, our views on the Government’s emissions pricing proposals and the negative impact they will have on sheep and beef farmers,” he says.
“The proposed changes to sequestration are extremely concerning because sequestration is so important to sheep and beef farmers.
“It’s only fair that farmers paying for emissions are at the same time recognised and rewarded for their trees absorbing emissions on their farms.
“We will not accept a system that disproportionately puts our farmers and communities at risk.”
With midterms on the horizon, McIvor then travelled to Washington DC to gauge how the political climate in the US may affect our sector.
“The trip to Washington DC was really beneficial, it was important to get a sense of the political momentum and how midterms may impact us,” he says.
“The other key aspect was discussing the US economy; the USD will have an impact on the NZD and flow back to our economy.
“Inflation going into next year will be a dominant factor that could impact consumer confidence and demand in the US, so we need to be mindful of that.”
There was also plenty of discussion on the US/China relationship and how it may impact New Zealand’s agricultural sector.
McIvor says It’s critically important to understand the Chinese and US markets, consumer trends and economic outlooks.
“We must use this intelligence in our future market planning to ensure that we protect export and farmer returns. That’s exactly what we’re doing in our Taste Pure Nature partnerships with NZ meat exporters.”