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The New Zealand red meat industry, built on the ability to ship perishable goods around the world, is export focused, with over 90% of sheepmeat and 80% of beef production exported.

Open and predictable market access is the life blood of the New Zealand meat industry as it creates a stable, level playing field on which to compete globally.

The industry’s business model is based on extracting the maximum value from each animal. This is achieved through product and market diversification strategies. Breaking down a carcass and finding the best returning market for each cut not only optimises economic returns but also means that New Zealand meat products are well placed to meet different customer preferences around the world.

The industry exports thousands of different cut and product specifications, therefore maintaining and improving access into as many markets as possible is a major industry focus. Market access activity forms a significant part of the work that MIA undertakes.

New Zealand’s free trade agreements have contributed to lowering and removing a range of tariffs on New Zealand’s sheep and beef exports. However, many countries, including key markets for New Zealand, continue to charge tariffs on agricultural products. 

New Zealand sheep and beef exports also face high levels of regulation, particularly in the form of Non-Tariff Barriers (NTBs).

NTBs are opaque, unpredictable and costly and equally as important as tariff barriers to resolve. NTBs can have significant commercial consequences, and can lock product out of a market regardless of the tariff levels. 

MIA provides the industry voice and technical advice and background information to the government to support trade negotiations with other countries as well as well as resolution of specific market access issues.