Apple and pear export regulations to be reviewed - Jim Sutton

New Zealand Government Media Release

27 November 2000

The regulatory framework of the apple and pear exporting industry is to be reviewed by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, Agriculture Minister Jim Sutton said today.

The Ministry has published a discussion document, which presents several possible options to govern the future export marketing of pipfruit.

Submissions are invited from growers, post-harvest operators and exporters on what they consider is the best possible framework to govern the export marketing of New Zealand's pipfruit. MAF should receive submissions before January 31 next year.

The submissions will be used in the formulation of Government policy.

Mr Sutton said the pipfruit industry was competing in a difficult international market. The New Zealand industry faced strong competition from overseas pipfruit suppliers and competition from many other fruits and snack food products.

As well, the entry of "corporates" into the ownership of single-desk marketing body ENZA had changed the dynamics of the industry.

Mr Sutton said the purchase of ENZA shares by GPG and FR Partners had upset many growers. The Government was keeping an eye on how the single-desk selling was operating and had sought assurances that the majority of growers would be looked after.

The review of the Apple and Pear Export Regulations 1999 was appropriate, as the regulations were new and covered such an important export mechanism in such a dynamic industry."

Mr Sutton said there were undoubtedly changes that would be made, in the light of this season's experience already.

Last season, ENZA marketed 18.2 million cartons, with independent exporters marketing 1.8 million cartons - a record amount. Early reports to date indicate that despite an oversupplied market, New Zealand has consolidated its position as the highest quality southern hemisphere season supplier.

The acquisition of a controlling interest in ENZA shares by corporates did not necessarily mean any change to ENZA's privileged statutory export right was necessary, Mr Sutton said, but that would be a significant issue to be considered as part of the review.

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