The government believes export volumes could go back to pre-2005 levels, before new halal requirements in Malaysia severely slowed down trade. New Zealand Food Safety Authority chief market access officer Tony Zohrab told GlobalMeatNews: “Back in 2005 trade was severely cut down, and since that time we have been trying to open it up again. The level of trade that resumes will be a commercial matter, not a government one, and we are hoping it will resume to pre-2005 levels. Trade will now resume slowly, and there are several other plants that would like to be approved.”
The New Zealand ministry of agriculture and forestry (MAF) said it collaborated closely with the Malaysian halal authorities to resume trade, and reached an agreement on meat exports last December.
Meat Industry Association chief executive Tim Ritchie said: ”The relationships and understanding that have developed during our negotiations have built a strong Malaysia/New Zealand partnership and we are looking forward to developing and further enhancing trading opportunities.”
MAF has also issued an ‘Animal Products (Overseas Market Access Requirements for Halal Assurances) Notice’ to give its trading partners assurance that meat has been procudes following halal standards.