Page 10

Article/ Column

What’s eating the meat industry? Column by Esther Guy-Meakin, Senior Manager: Strategy, Trade Policy and Advocacy, New Zealand Meat Industry Association

Global meat markets and supply chains have been severely impacted by COVID-19, but with New Zealand red meat exports reaching a historic high last year ($9.2 billion), the NZ sector has navigated these challenges well compared to other exporters. Our exporters have faced two main global trade challenges: supply chain impacts due to port congestion, and disruption to air/ sea freight, and distribution networks in the market. Secondly, demand for red meat was affected as lockdown measures globally closed the food service sector, an important market for valuable cuts. Our resilience can be attributed to our diverse market strategy (111 export markets)

and our deep understanding and relationships across our supply chains. This allowed our processing and exporting companies to shift products to different countries and within markets and pivot to new channels, such as from the food service sector to retail and e-commerce. Secondly, our processing companies showed remarkable agility to reconfigure processing operations under COVID19 constraints to deliver high quality products in an efficient manner. While the sector has faced very few COVID-19 specific trade barriers, the risk of trade protectionism remains and we value the New Zealand government’s leadership in ensuring trade relationships are strengthened

and trading routes remain open for business. Initiatives such as the International Air Freight Capacity Scheme have ensured affordable air freight routes remain open and this is a credit to the strong government to government relationships with partner countries, which are underpinned by close trade and commercial relationships. It is critical that the New Zealand government continues to argue for science-based regulations with trading partners and push back against COVID-19-related regulatory creep that does not reflect the latest science or food safety best practice.

India emerges as the new Vaccine Superpower India already meets 62% of the global demand for vaccines, and now as a part of its post pandemic recovery effort, India will provide 20 million doses to neighboring countries. This puts it in direct competition with China. Professor Harsh V. Pant and Aarshi Tirkey at the Observer Research Foundation discuss India’s unique role in positioning itself as a responsible superpower during the COVID-19 crisis. The world’s pharmacy is looking to inoculations to build friendly ties around the world—and compete with China. If the COVID-19 pandemic has taught us anything, it is that global responses are needed to confront diseases that can spread around the world with stunning speed. It is no wonder, then, that the concept of global health diplomacy—including vaccine diplomacy—has become a major foreign-policy talking point everywhere from China to the United States.

protection equipment increased, countries imposed export prohibitions and restrictions to stabilize domestic supplies. Vaccine nationalism was soon to follow, with the possibility that rich countries would attempt to hoard vaccines by striking pre-purchase deals with pharmaceutical companies.

Throughout it all, though, it was always clear that a global challenge of this magnitude would eventually require a global solution, based on international health cooperation between public and private-sector stakeholders. And Indian Prime Yet rhetoric aside, the predominant Minister Narendra Modi recognized early on that his country could play a response to the disease has been unique role in that process. India is to shut down and look inwards. As already known as the pharmacy of the global demand for medicines, the world. It is the largest producer medical supplies, and personal

of generic medicines, accounting for 20 percent of their global production. It meets 62 percent of the global demand for vaccines. Since the coronavirus pandemic began, the country has been at the forefront of supplying medicines and generic drugs to others. India received requests from more than 100 countries for hydroxychloroquine (once thought to help treat COVID-19) and paracetamol (a painkiller), and sent supplies to Brazil, the United States, and Israel. By May 2020, India was spending $16 million on pharmaceuticals, test kits, and other medical equipment for about 90 countries. Even before multilateral organizations got on board, New Delhi also consistently supported

10 | KiaOra India | Mar 2021 INZBC.ORG