Grant to de­fend NZ’s red meat in Brexit

The Southland Times - - WEATHER - GERALD PIDDOCK

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.

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