Promotion of New Zealand primary products into the high-value market of the United States is high on the agenda of the Agriculture Minister in a week-long visit there.
Damien O'Connor has meetings in Washington DC with the US Secretary of Agriculture, Sonny Perdue, senators and local industry, and will then travel to Stanford University in California to attend the Te Hono Stanford Bootcamp.
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He said maintaining a good relationship with the United States was vital in keeping two-way trade flowing, which in the year ending March 31 was around $18 billion.
"Strong trade relationships are vital to the future of our primary sectors, particularly with New Zealand's focus on higher value, and more diverse and sustainably produced products.
"My meetings will provide a timely opportunity to talk about New Zealand's expertise in agriculture, our priorities, and the work of the Primary Sector Council and its development of a vision for New Zealand's primary sector."
After his meetings in Washington DC, O'Connor will join other primary industry leaders at Stanford University for the annual Te Hono Stanford Bootcamp.
The Bootcamp is an intensive programme, bringing together a diverse group of around 70 chief executives and leaders who are committed to the innovation and transformation of New Zealand's primary sectors.
"We will be immersed in discussion about strategic change, alongside a range of experts from Stanford University."
"Moving the vision to action will require stronger Government and industry partnership than ever before. It's an ideal opportunity to work through the Primary Sector Council's vision, its implications and its delivery with the most senior and influential voices from across New Zealand's industry".