B+LNZ underlines need for flexible regulations at APEC

// International Trade

Beef + Lamb New Zealand (B+LNZ) Chair Kate Acland and B+LNZ Senior Trade Policy Advisor Nick Jolly were invited to the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Third Senior Officials’ Meeting in Seattle, Washington this month.

image of panel speakers at apec conference

APEC is made up 21 member economies from around the Asia-Pacific region and includes many of New Zealand’s trading partners.  

B+LNZ supports the New Zealand Government’s efforts to promote flexible regulations and the free flow of food throughout the region by reducing trade barriers and trade distorting subsidies. 

The meeting provided B+LNZ with the opportunity to build key relationships while supporting trade for New Zealand farmers and continue the global conversation on food security. 

“With 97 percent of New Zealand beef exports going to Asia Pacific and 79 percent of our sheepmeat, we are highly reliant on the Asia Pacific for trade, therefore gatherings like these are critical in reducing trade barriers,” says B+LNZ Chair Kate Acland who attended the meeting. 

Acland spoke on a panel alongside the Minister for Agriculture from Canada, the Mexican Secretary for Agriculture, and representatives from the private sector from Thailand and Singapore. The panel was moderated by US Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack. 

When asked about how governments can support farmers to increase production and improve sustainability, Acland said the Government must provide outcome-focussed frameworks, that allow farmers to innovate whilst providing flexibility in how they manage their land. She reiterated that this requires tackling subsidies that lock farmers into unsustainable farm practices and distort trade. 

“For food production to be sustainable, it must be in the right place and New Zealand is an ideal trade partner to provide safe, healthy and nutritious food to APEC economies.” 

The Unites States (US) hosted the 2023 meeting from 29 July to 23 August and APEC covered the cost of B+LNZ representatives to attend the week relevant to food security. 

The Seattle APEC meeting covered a range of issues, from health through to cooperation on economic matters, with B+LNZ representatives attending the Policy Partnership on Food Security (PPFS). 

The PPFS aims to bring together the private sector and governments to address climate change, food security and trade within the APEC region. 

image of Kate Acland speaking at Apec confernce

Meanwhile Jolly was invited as the private sector representative of the New Zealand Government. 

Jolly spoke at the PPFS event, discussing the interaction between climate change, food security and trade. 

His main message was that both a changing climate and climate change policies will impact farm output, and that farmers are already adapting to a changing climate and mitigating emissions.  

“Governments need to facilitate farmers to make the right decisions, rather than making decisions for them through subsidisation and regulations,” he said. 

“It must be recognised that trade supports regional flexibility and resilience in food systems and contributes to food security. For this to continue, a continued focus on trade liberalisation needs to happen with both tariffs and non-tariff barriers.” 

image of Nick Jolly speaking at Apec conference

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