China Blockades New Zealand Meat, Grey Export Market to Blame?

Exports of 100 million dollars worth of Zealand beef, mutton and lamb are being detained at the Chinese border due to what NZ authorities are calling a “certification error”.

The public are being told that tonnes of frozen meat have been held up for the last month, supposedly because of the name change of a NZ government department. Strangely, other NZ dairy products, such as dairy, have not been affected by the “certification error”, just meat.

In March there was a change on the name of safety documentation that replaced the former Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry with the re-branded Ministry for Primary Industries. But, it has taken until now for the Chinese to refuse to take delivery of the produce. “Our government has known for days but has been keeping quiet” according to a news channel that broke the story Link

Despite the huge amount of spin coming out of New Zealand some sites are saying there may be another reason for the blockade

A top meat industry source said this was being used by Chinese authorities as an excuse to protect local pork and poultry industries.

The source noted that the industry merger was completed in April 2012 and that China had continued to allow imports of both dairy products and beef hides throughout the meat block…

Labour primary industries spokesman Damien O’Connor said the issue followed an ‘‘inadequate’’ response to the DCD scare by the Government.

‘‘National has sat on this issue for almost a month when it should have moved swiftly to rectify the problem, reassure the meat industry and satisfy the Chinese Customs Service.’’

China seized Kiwi meat
Last year China seized Kiwi meat on a crackdown on grey exports, which may explain why it has become a stickler for proper certification. She’ll be right attitudes,and good enough will do, will no longer be tolerated. It looks like the NZ government has been caught napping on the Job.

On June 12, Chinese authorities descended on an inbound ship, seizing more than 1800 metric tons of frozen goods. Five crew members were put in detention by Shenzhen Customs.

The 60-container cargo was described as including beef, chicken wings and pork from the United States, Brazil, Australia and New Zealand.

Beef and Lamb New Zealand’s general manager of market development Craig Finch said it was impossible to know how much NZ meat was involved or indeed how much finds its way into China each year through illicit channels. However, the overall trade is big… Source

DCD in milk scare
Also last year! New Zealand milk was the subject of a safety scare in China when milk powder with the melamine-related chemical Dicyandiamide, or DCD–a substance that in high doses is toxic to humans, was detected.

There was a significant delay before this information was released and a list of the affected products and batch numbers was never made public. For more about that read WSJ blows the lid on Fonterra tainted milk scandal NZ government knew months ago.

This latest problem with meat exports is going to do little to bolster confidence in New Zealand food products and the government needs to get it sorted out pronto, because the longer it goes on the more the NZ meat industry is going to lose market share.