17 Apr 2012

Silver Fern Farms says Indonesia beef quota takes toll

2:09 pm on 17 April 2012

Meat exporter Silver Fern Farms says Indonesia's clampdown on beef imports over the past few years has cost the company one of its key markets.

Prime Minister John Key is in the Indonesian capital Jakarta to discuss two-way trade, and beef quota were due to be discussed on Tuesday.

In 2010, Indonesia was New Zealand's second-largest beef export market.

Since then, the quota on all beef imports to Indonesia has dropped from 120,000 tonnes to 34,000 tonnes, despite a free trade agreement being in place.

Silver Fern Farms chairman Eoin Garden says the company it exported about 40,000 tonnes of beef to Indonesia in 2010 worth more than $100 million. He says the lower quota has taken a toll on the company.

Mr Garden says the lower quota is due to Indonesia's aim to become self sufficient in beef production by 2014.

Mr Key says the quota is not in the spirit of the free trade agreement and is unrealistic.