Meat & Livestock News

New Zealand Meat Board Manages $2.6 Billion in Export Quotas


  • The New Zealand Meat Board (NZMB) oversees $2.6 billion in red meat exports, saving the sector $934 million annually in tariffs.
  • Expansion of NZMB’s role includes managing 10 quotas post-Brexit and NZ-UK FTA, with significant tariff savings already realised.
  • The NZMB is also focusing on industry-good projects, including genetics programmes and efforts to eradicate facial eczema in sheep.

The New Zealand Meat Board (NZMB) now plays a pivotal role in managing $2.6 billion worth of red meat exports to key quota markets such as the European Union, the United Kingdom, and the United States. This management results in substantial tariff savings of $934 million each year for the sector. The breakdown of these savings includes $609 million for EU and UK sheep meat and goat meat, $6.8 million for EU high-quality beef, and $317 million for US beef and veal.

During its Annual Meeting, held online on March 15, NZMB Chair Kate Acland highlighted the board’s expanded administrative role since its inception over a century ago. The NZMB’s responsibilities have grown significantly, especially following the UK’s departure from the EU.

Initially overseeing three World Trade Organization (WTO) quotas, the NZMB now manages ten quotas, thanks to the addition of quotas post-Brexit and the NZ-UK Free Trade Agreement (FTA). Further expansion is expected with the NZ-EU FTA’s implementation, promising more opportunities and savings for New Zealand’s red meat sector.

Acland also noted the strong interest and positive market signals from the tariff-free UK FTA beef quota, with over 1,700 tonnes of beef entering under this new quota between May and December 2023, saving $9.9 million in tariffs. Preparations are underway for the EU FTA, with implementation requirements expected to be concluded by mid-2024.

NZMB Chief Executive Sam McIvor outlined the board’s work in establishing management systems for administering the new FTA quotas. With the New Zealand Government’s support, the NZMB has achieved paperless quota certification in the US market, offering significant economic benefits for exporters. Efforts are ongoing to expand paperless certification to other markets.

Additionally, the NZMB administers substantial farmer reserves, currently valued at $79 million, intended as a contingency fund to support New Zealand’s re-entry into export markets following any biosecurity incidents or disruptions

 Interest from this fund supports industry-good projects, with current considerations including up to $700,000 in ongoing investment in the Informing New Zealand Beef (INZB) genetics programme and up to $1 million into a programme aimed at eradicating facial eczema in sheep.

This strategic management and support for industry-good initiatives underscore the NZMB’s commitment to enhancing New Zealand’s red meat sector’s global competitiveness and sustainability.