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New Zealand Signs Meat Export Deal With Iran

New Zealand meat exports to Iran failed to pick up following the lifting of sanctions last year due to disagreement over halal standards.New Zealand meat exports to Iran failed to pick up following the lifting of sanctions last year due to disagreement over halal standards.

New Zealand has signed an agreement with Iran for the resumption of meat exports to the second-largest economy in the Middle East and North Africa region.

The Iranian Veterinary Organization and the New Zealand Ministry for Primary Industries agreed to an arrangement for facilitating the country’s frozen sheep and beef exports to Iran, according to a statement from New Zealand Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy, who witnessed the signing of the agreement in Tehran with his counterpart, Iranian Agriculture Minister Mahmoud Hojjati on Sunday.

New Zealand’s meat exports to Iran failed to pick up following the lifting of sanctions last year due to disagreement over halal standards, New Zealand Herald reported on Monday.

“This is a crucial step for New Zealand meat companies, as they look to reenter the Iranian market,” Guy said.

Meat is New Zealand’s second-largest commodity export after dairy, and was worth $5.92 billion in 2016.

“The ministers also discussed an action plan for agricultural cooperation in the year ahead,” Guy said.

The two countries are also working on kiwifruit opportunities in Iran, where import restrictions prevent New Zealand from selling the country’s most valuable fresh fruit export.

Guy said New Zealand kiwifruit marketer Zespri International and Iran’s Ministry of Agriculture signed a statement of intent outlining undertakings to further explore commercial opportunities in Iran.

“Iran has well-established kiwifruit orchards and supply chains, and produces the fruit in New Zealand’s off-season,” he said.

Along with other western countries, New Zealand lifted sanctions against Iran in February last year after the country agreed to roll back its nuclear ambitions.

Leading a business delegation, including representatives from Fonterra, the meat industry association, Guy arrived in Tehran on Saturday.

“This will be the third ministerial visit to Iran in 12 months and reflects the growing importance of this relationship. This is an opportunity to strengthen our agricultural relationship, following the signing of an Agricultural Cooperation Arrangement in 2016,” he said.

In December 2016, New Zealand’s Trade Minister Todd McClay and his accompanying 30-strong trade delegation visited Tehran following the lifting of nuclear sanctions against the country. The visit was the country’s first trade mission to Tehran in 12 years. 

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