19 Nov 2010

Fonterra looks forward to Russian trade deal

5:36 am on 19 November 2010

Fonterra says a free trade deal with Russia could result in significantly better prices for dairy farmers.

The Government will begin formal trade talks with Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan next year.

A free trade deal would improve New Zealand's position with the world's 12th largest economy and fifth largest food importer.

Fonterra's chief executive, Andrew Ferrier, told shareholders at its annual meeting in Hawera on Thursday that a deal be also be good news for the company.

The New Zealand Institute of Economic Research has estimated the immediate benefits from a Free Trade Agreement with Russia would be small - about $27 million - but longer term strategic benefits of the deal would be substantial.