Federated Farmers believes the horsemeat scandal in
Europe provides an opportunity for the National Animal
Identification and Tracing (Nait) scheme to deliver on its
promise to add value for farmers.
The scandal provided an ''acid test'' for the Nait concept of
traceability, meat and fibre chairwoman Jeanette Maxwell
''Europe was held up as the gold standard for traceability
but, in reality, it is New Zealand that now has one of the
most rigorous systems on Earth.
''I know Kiwi beef farmers are shocked by the almost daily
revelations that stretch from Ireland to Romania. We keep
asking how systems designed to ensure traceable meat there
could have broken down so spectacularly.''
While New Zealand's beef exports to the European Union were
small, at over 12,000 tonnes it was still a lucrative market
which was worth $149 million in 2011-12. ''This uncertain
climate regarding European beef must surely make our
traceable beef stand out, especially at the premium end.''
''It is time for the Nait value-add promise to deliver for
farmers,'' Mrs Maxwell said.