Effective from the middle of this year, Grant, who will be based in London, will work closely with B+LNZ’s regional manager Ben O’Brien, who is based in Brussels, as well as the New Zealand Government.
Grant’s role as Brexit representative will be to strengthen the New Zealand red meat sector’s ties with the UK and safeguard the country’s exports to key markets.
Grant has over 25 years’ experience in the red meat sector and has been involved as a director or trustee of organisations for companies including Landcorp, Wrightson and B+LNZ.
He has also held chairman roles for 10 different organisations, including Meat & Wool NZ from 2003-2007, the New Zealand Meat Board for seven years, the Meat Research and Development Council and, most recently, AgResearch.
B+LNZ chairman Andrew Morrison said Grant understood the importance of trade to the sector.
“Grant brings with him expertise and strategic skills that will be crucial over the next two years in dealing with the implications of Brexit,” said Morrison.
Meanwhile, MIA chairman John Loughlin said Grant would play a crucial role in New Zealand’s efforts to build and maintain relationships with the UK.
“Brexit is one of the biggest challenges to face the sector in recent years and it is crucial New Zealand is no worse off as a result of the change,” said Loughlin. “Grant will secure our national interests and dispel the misconceptions about our sector and exports.”
B+LNZ recently revealed in its mid-season update that rising lamb and beef exports prices for New Zealand farmers were expected to result in forecast profits surpassing the $3bn mark for the first time.