A delegation representing the UK sheep industry, including delegates from the red meat levy boards in England, Scotland and Wales, are heading to New Zealand next week as part of a fact-finding exchange between the two countries.
The short visit, which has been funded by the UK and New Zealand Governments, will facilitate the exchange of knowledge between industry and Government, enhance relationships, create new opportunities for collaboration, and provide insights to support future agricultural production and export ambitions.
Phil Hadley, AHDB International Market Development Director, said: “While the implications of Brexit for both agricultural support and trade are still not clear, we do know that the sheep sector is particularly vulnerable as we move towards leaving the EU.
“This visit will enable UK representatives to learn some valuable lessons from their New Zealand counterparts and help the industry become more resilient to future challenges.”
Delegates including representatives from the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB), Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) and Hybu Cig Cymru (HCC), will take part in a full programme of events and visits, enabling them to get a detailed insight into New Zealand’s sheep industry, from grassland management and knowledge exchange to slaughter regulation. The exchange will also cover exports and certification, giving UK representatives an overview of how New Zealand has become a world leader in this area.
Alan Clarke, chief executive of QMS, said: “Next week’s visit presents an opportunity to gain an exceptional first-hand insight into the New Zealand lamb industry and I am confident the insights we return with will be of significant value to our industry. Sincere thanks go to the UK and New Zealand Governments for funding the visit and to the New Zealand red meat industry for hosting.”
Kevin Roberts, HCC Chairman, added: “This is a good opportunity to share information on the future of the global sheep industry.”