In the first of a two-part video interview with New Zealand’s representative in the UK, Jeff Grant, we discuss the impact that Brexit has had on the trading relationship between the two countries over the past year.
Grant took up the role in April 2018 with the remit to strengthen the New Zealand red meat sector’s ties with the UK and safeguard the country’s exports to key markets. He had expected for the UK to have left the EU by now.
“It’s been an extremely frustrating process. I, like many others, thought we’d be out the other side of the Brexit process by now. For the NZ meat industry we’ve shifted our emphasis to Europe over the last two or three months to build up a story in that market.”
Although a 31 January deadline has been set, Grant believes the numerous delays in the Brexit situation caused headaches for New Zealand producers in their dealings with the UK.
“We’ve had a historical relationship with the UK supermarkets and trying to balance that trade has been critical but the fundamental [issue] has been the lateness of the decision-making by officials which had a knock-on effect on documentation requirements,” he explained.
Grant also gave GlobalMeatNews an update on the New Zealand-EU relationship as well as plans for talks between New Zealand and the UK once it leaves the EU. According to Grant, due to the fact the UK is still part of the EU, it can’t engage in trade talks with New Zealand however some relevant data has been shared between the two countries.
Check back soon for the second part of this interview with Jeff Grant in which he discusses New Zealand’s relationship with UK supermarkets and the new markets the country is targeting.