Dairy sector joins biosecurity fight

by Anonymous Author

The Dairy Companies Association of New Zealand has 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.

The DCANZ represents 11 processing and exporting companies which account for around 98% of all the milk processed in New Zealand, and signed the agreement in a ceremony attended by Minister for Primary Industries Nathan Guy.

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

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

“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,” Mr Bailey said.

“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.”

Mr Bailey said the current Mycoplasma Bovis outbreak is a good reminder of the benefits of industry and Government working closely to manage biosecurity readiness and response “We have a shared interest in mitigating and eradicating threats.” 

GIA Secretariat manager Steve Rich said the signing by DCANZ 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,” Mr Rich said.

“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”.

The dairy sector makes up over a third of New Zealand’s total exports, with existing markets in over 140 different countries.