New Zealand has signed an agreement with Iran for the resumption of meat exports to the country.
The agreement was signed between Iranian Veterinary Organization and New Zealand’s Ministry for Primary Industries in Tehran at the presence of New Zealand’s Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy and Iranian Agriculture Minister Mahmoud Hojjati. The two sides have agreed to an arrangement which provides the conditions for resumption of chilled and frozen sheep and beef exports to Iran. According to a report by New Zealand Herald, the country’s meat exports to Iran failed to pick up following the lifting of sanctions last year because of Iranian restrictions. Meat is New Zealands second-largest commodity export after dairy, and was worth $5.92 billion in 2016. "This is a crucial step for New Zealand meat companies as they look to re-enter the Iranian market," Guy said. The sides also discussed an action plan for agricultural cooperation in the year ahead, Guy said. The two countries are also working on kiwifruit opportunities in Iran, where import restrictions prevent New Zealand from selling the countrys most valuable fresh fruit. New Zealand kiwifruit marketer Zespri International and Irans Ministry of Agriculture signed a Statement of Intent outlining undertakings to further explore commercial opportunities in Iran, Guy said. Iran has well-established kiwifruit orchards and supply chains and produces the fruit in New Zealands off-season, he said. Along with other Western countries, New Zealand lifted sanctions against Iran in February last year.