Wine, honey, and horticulture industries pleased with new UK fair trade agreement

by | May 10, 2023 | News

New Zealand Winegrowers welcomes today’s announcement that the UK FTA will enter into force on 31 May 2023.

“The UK Free Trade agreement is very positive for the New Zealand wine industry. It will more closely align the winemaking standards across the two countries, and help reduce technical barriers to trade, by minimising burdens from certification and labelling requirements on New Zealand wine exports. It will also support future growth in the market, and encourage exporters to focus on the UK,” says Sarah Wilson, General Manager of Advocacy and General Counsel at New Zealand Winegrowers.

“The UK is New Zealand’s second largest export market for wine, with exports valued at over $470 million last year. UK consumers appreciate the distinctive flavours, commitment to quality, and know New Zealand wine is a unique product that they can trust.”

The New Zealand horticulture industry is also welcoming the early implementation of the Free Trade Agreement with the United Kingdom , saying that for fruit and vegetable exporters, the agreement gives hope for the future at a time when the industry is under immense pressure.

‘Growers have been under the pump ever since Covid struck, and rampant cost increases and a succession of adverse weather events have just added to this pressure,’ says HortNZ chief executive, Nadine Tunley.

‘Early adoption of the agreementwith the UK provides hope for the future. We thank Government officials in New Zealand and the UK for bringing implementation of the agreement forward, and delivering on Fit for A Better World – a multi-year project to accelerate the New Zealand primary industry’s economic potential.’

Nadine says in the year to 31 March 2022, horticulture exports were $4.6 billion.

Apiculture New Zealand believes the agreement will provide a big boost of NZ’s honey industry.

The free trade agreement will see the removal of tariffs on all New Zealand honey into the United Kingdom from 31 May. The current tariff rate on New Zealand honey to the United Kingdom is 16 per cent.

“The free trade deal is a great outcome for our industry and will improve our competitiveness in one of our largest export markets,” says Karin Kos, Chief Executive of Apiculture New Zealand.

The United Kingdom consistently ranks as one of the top three export markets for New Zealand honey and was worth around $40 million in export revenue in 2022.

“We have strong ties with UK customers, with a long history of exporting high-quality honey products there. However, the current in-quota tariff rate of 16 per cent has been a significant barrier to trade,” says Ms Kos.

This deal will give New Zealand beekeepers and honey exporters a real boost at a time when it is much needed and provides a platform to grow the UK market to the benefit of all parties.

UK consumers can expect to see more of New Zealand’s great quality honeys on their supermarket shelves.

“Apiculture New Zealand has been seeking the removal of these tariffs for some time and we extend our thanks to the government for persevering and progressing this on our industry’s behalf,” Ms Kos says.

Photo by Kai Wenzel on Unsplash

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