Farming News - New Zealand may sell more lamb to UK after new trade deal

New Zealand may sell more lamb to UK after new trade deal

The Uk media have been announcing the finalisation of a trade deal between New Zealand and the UK, but according to the government's own estimates the deal itself is unlikely to boost UK growth. Overall, only a tiny proportion of UK trade is done with New Zealand, less than 0.2%.

Labour and the National Farmers Union have said the deal could hurt UK farmers whiile at the same time lower food standards.

However the deal means that New Zealand may be able to sell more lamb to the UK.

Deal could have huge downside for Farmers

The NFU said the deal, like the one with Australia, could have a "huge downside", especially for UK dairy and meat farmers.

Its president, Minette Batters, said the Australia and New Zealand deals mean "we will be opening our doors to significant extra volumes of imported food - whether or not produced to our own high standards - while securing almost nothing in return for UK farmers".

"The fact is that UK farm businesses face significantly higher costs of production than farmers in New Zealand and Australia, and it's worth remembering that margins are already tight here due to ongoing labour shortages and rising costs on farm," she said.

"The government is now asking British farmers to go toe-to-toe with some of the most export-orientated farmers in the world, without the serious, long-term and properly funded investment in UK agriculture that can enable us to do so."

Emily Thornberry, shadow trade secretary, told the BBC that the government's own figures showed the deal would "cut employment in our farming communities, produce zero additional growth, and generate just £112m in additional exports for UK firms compared to pre-pandemic levels".

She said that the only winners were "the mega-corporations who run New Zealand's meat and dairy farms

" ...we need trade deals that will boost jobs and growth, open up big new markets for UK exporters, and support our objectives to buy, make and sell more in Britain. This trade deal with New Zealand fails on every count."

"The international trade secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan said "British farmers should not be concerned about increased lamb imports because the lambing seasons were different in the UK and New Zealand.

"(the deal) will afford opportunities in both directions for great sharing of produce" and that "British farmers should not be worried.

"I'm very comfortable it's a complimentary - because of the seasons… consumers will have more choice."