Trade Minister Damien O’Connor has revived hopes that New Zealand can land a free trade agreement with the UK this year and another one subsequently with the EU, following his just- concluded mission to European capitals.
Farm lobbies had not been confident when he set out. In the case of the UK we had been beaten to the punch by Australia.
It seemed unlikely NZ could get anything better than their Australian counterparts who appeared willing to accept a long phaseout on duties on, in particular, most farm products, including dairy.
Since then Australia has entered the AUKUS pact, which particularly riled France’s President Macron because Australia’s decision to acquire nuclear submarines from the US meant cancellation of a previous (very expensive) deal to buy French diesel-powered submarines.
So one of the major thrusts of O’Connor’s mission became advancing free trade negotiations with the EU.
Continue reading “Geographical Indications are among the sensitive issues for NZ in free-trade talks with EU”
Kiwi cheese-makers will be wondering which advice they should take from chef Simon Gault.
This week he was saying they should stop trying to imitate brie and gouda and focus on producing uniquely New Zealand styles.
His advice was given to people watching a webinar arranged by the European Union Delegation to New Zealand, an outfit committed to promoting the EU’s increasing use of geographical indications to protect European products.
In June last year, however, Gault was singing the praises of NZ French-style cheeses.
In particular, he was enthusing about a French-style camembert made in the Nelson region.
So you don’t have to go to France to buy a cheese, he advised.
“ Bastille day is coming up – let’s buy NZ French cheese” Continue reading “It isn’t hard cheese if the EU gets its way with GIs, chef insists – but dairy exporters are likely to disagree”