NZ fights Indonesian Halal beef ban

NZ fights Indonesian beef ban

Jul 12, 2008 6:48 PM

Minister Phil Goff is to meet Indonesian officials next week to discuss
a ban on New Zealand beef exports worth tens of millions of dollars a

The ban has left industry leaders baffled. It’s a trade worth $94 million a year which has suddenly stalled.

Until now, New Zealand has supplied Indonesia with halal beef, killed according to Islamic ritual.

Now Jakarta has imposed a ban, claiming New Zealand companies are failing to meet its slaughtering and labelling standards.

Goff says the ban is unacceptable.

“It may have something to do with domestic or business practice in
Indonesia but we don’t really know. We know the formal reasons given
really don’t hold water,” he says.

Meat and Wool New Zealand says the timing of the ban is frustrating
when the government is negotiating a free trade deal with the
Association of South East Asian Nations, a group which includes

Officials from the Indonesian Embassy say the ban is only temporary
and will be lifted as soon as a few technical issues are sorted out.
They say Indonesia needs New Zealand beef which has been on the market
there for years.

Indonesia is not the first to ban New Zealand beef. In 2005,
Malaysia began delisting New Zealand meat companies, claiming they were
failing to meet its halal slaughtering standards. Some have since been
reinstated, but not all.

Goff is meeting with Indonesian trade officials in Wellington next week.

“Clearly its a significant market. We want to get to the bottom of
this problem, we want some explanations and we want to get it fixed,”
Goff says.

Federated Farmers say they are still seeking details about the ban
but anything that has an impact on New Zealand’s agricultural trade or
reputation is hugely concerning.