25 Nov 2013

Beef farmers expected to get major benefits from Taiwan deal

6:32 am on 25 November 2013

Sheep and beef farmers will soon see better returns from Taiwan - with a free trade agreement coming online much sooner than had been expected on 1 December.

The sector is delighted that tariffs on beef will be gone by 2015 and sheepmeat by 2017.

In 2012, New Zealand exported $208 million of sheep and beef to Taiwan and paid $18 million in tariffs.

Meat Industry Association chairman Bill Falconer says Taiwanese consumers recognise the quality of New Zealand beef - and he expects the deal will really benefit this sector.

He says the New Zealand farmers working with them have been putting a lot of work into developing the Taiwan market, particularly for beef cuts.

Mr Falconer says it's an opportunity to be able to get the quality of New Zealand beef established in the Asian region, but the tariff has always been an inhibition to this.

He says while Taiwanese importers will want their share of the money that's been freed up - he expects most of the benefit to flow back to New Zealand farmers.