Grant to defend NZ’s red meat in Brexit
Jeff Grant has been appointed by Beef + Lamb New Zealand and the Meat Industry Association to help manage the red meat sector’s response to Brexit.
The former chairman of AgResearch will be based in London and would work closely with Beef + Lamb’s Europe representative, the New Zealand Government and commercial interests to help strengthen the red meat sector’s ties with the United Kingdom and safeguard New Zealand’s exports to that market.
Grant said the challenges Brexit posed to the sector were similar to what it faced in 1972, when the the UK signalled it was joining the European Union.
‘‘That is just in terms of how they play out the quota, especially with sheepmeat because that will have an impact.’’
The free trade agreements that New Zealand would hopefully sign with the UK and Europe were an opportunity to ensure the sector had a good position in the international market and that would not be eroded by competing countries.
‘‘Without any doubt, we want to secure our current position because while in some years the [meat] quota will be filled and in other years it is not, the reality is that the European-UK market really sets the standard on price around the rest of the world.’’
That made it a hugely important market.
Meat Industry Association chairman John Loughlin said Brexit was one of the biggest challenges facing the sector in recent years and it was crucial New Zealand was no worse off as a result of the change.
‘‘Jeff will play a crucial role in the overall NZ Inc effort to build and maintain our relationships in the UK, secure our national interests and dispel the misconceptions about our sector and exports.’’
Grant has had a number of different roles over the years including being elected as a Member of Parliament in 1987 where he served two terms including the role of senior whip in the National government from 1990 until 1993 when he retired.
Since 1994, he has been predominantly involved as a director or trustee of organisations and companies including Landcorp, Wrightson, and B+LNZ.
He has also been chairman of 10 organisations including Meat and Wool NZ (2003-2007), the New Zealand Meat Board (2000-2007), the Meat Research and Development Council, AGMARDT, Invest South and Wool Partners Co-op.
Most recently he has been chairman of Mount Linton Station and OSPRI, among others.