Commission Midday Express, 29 July 2010
EU Commissioner for Health and Consumer Policy John Dalli has welcomed the decision by the New Zealand government to open the New Zealand market for European raw-milk products. "This move is the result of the concerted efforts of the European Commission and Member States ", he stated.
Until now, milk products had to be pasteurised or heat-treated to be sold in New Zealand. In the framework of the EU-New Zealand Veterinary Agreement, the New Zealand authorities carried out a risk assessment on Roquefort cheese and certain hard raw milk cheeses that led to an import authorisation in 2008. In 2009, under the Veterinary Agreement, New Zealand committed to carrying out further work on all raw milk products, which is now finalised and an import health standard (IHS) has been established. New Zealand is the first country to accept EU raw milk products on the basis of equivalence established between EU and New Zealand standards. New Zealand consumers can now enjoy the full choice of European raw milk products on their domestic market.
New Zealand authorities were encouraged to conclude their assessment process by June 2010 in order to allow the debut of European raw milk cheeses at Fine Food NZ, a food & beverage trade show that took place recently in Auckland. This was achieved and in the end 15 varieties of raw milk cheeses from 7 EU countries were present at the show's EU stand.