Non-tariff barriers for processed food exporters

Last updated: April 27, 2021

Export & Trade

Non-tariff barriers for processed food exporters

Published: April 27, 2021

Stage: Ongoing

Priority: Medium

Issue for Business: Setting up a food and beverage business for domestic supply under the Food Act is relatively straightforward, when these businesses decide to try exporting, they will experience a world of regulatory pain. This is due in large part (ExportNZ members believe) to the regulations for food exporting, which have been written to suit exports of primary sector commodity food. While it works for primary, meat, dairy, and seafood, for any business that tries to create a food export that uses any of those ingredients and add value to them, will find themselves burdened by regulations and costs. If smaller companies are required to co-invest for things like market access or to get regulatory attention they are never prioritised in a model that makes decisions based on the value of the sector. Meat, dairy or horticulture, which are doing large volume and value as sectors, will always trump the diversity of SME added value exporters. ExportNZ believes the cost recovery model used by MPI does not work for SME added value exporters.

Action: ExportNZ has had various meetings with MPI senior officials regarding this issue and how MPI can better support value add food and beverage exporters. ExportNZ met with Minister O’Connor to discuss this issue.

Outcome: MPI has appointed a processed food ‘champion’ and has drafted a food safety letter that exporters can use with overseas customers to provide added value.


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