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NZ Dairy Sector Joins Biosecurity Fight

15 August 2017

NEW ZEALAND - Dairy Companies Association of New Zealand (DCANZ) today joined the Government Industry Agreement for Biosecurity Readiness and Response (GIA) to combat the threat of pests and diseases that could significantly impact New Zealand’s dairy processing sector.

DCANZ joined GIA in a signing ceremony attended by Hon Nathan Guy, Minister for Primary Industries and Hon Todd McClay, Minister of Trade, along with senior representatives of the Ministry for Primary Industries.

By signing the GIA Deed, DCANZ joins 14 other primary industry sectors that have agreed to work with Government, and each other, to combat biosecurity threats.

DCANZ represents 11 processing and exporting companies on policy matters and its members account for around 98 per cent of all the milk processed in New Zealand. In total the dairy sector makes up over a third of all New Zealand total exports, with existing markets in over 140 different countries.

Malcolm Bailey, DCANZ Chair, said the signing of the GIA Deed is an important step to safe-guarding the sector’s ability to continue meeting its global customer demand for safe, high-quality, New Zealand dairy products.

Mr Bailey said: "New Zealand’s status as being free from many of the pests and diseases which hinder livestock production and exports in other countries is a significant source of competitive advantage. Dairy export earnings have averaged $14.4 billion in recent years.

"These trade benefits flow through the economy for the benefit of all New Zealanders. We must do all we can to minimise the chances of a major, trade stopping, biosecurity incursion, such as foot and mouth disease occurring."

"DCANZ is signing up to GIA to work in partnership with government and other industry players, to prepare for and minimise the potential impact from biosecurity pests and diseases. We have a shared interest in mitigating and eradicating threats.

"The current Mycoplasma Bovis outbreak is a good reminder of the benefits of industry and Government working closely to manage biosecurity readiness and response."

GIA Secretariat Manager Steve Rich welcomed DCANZ on behalf of the GIA partnership saying the new addition further strengthens efforts to deliver better biosecurity outcomes.

"GIA continues to go from strength to strength as more industry groups recognise the benefit of a joint approach to managing biosecurity readiness and response activities," said Mr Rich.

"The arrival of DCANZ into GIA means New Zealand’s largest single export sector is now directly represented in the partnership, and we look forward to working with them."

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