Euthanasia For Producer Boards
New Zealand pipfruit growers are joining a growing list of primary industry entrepreneurs seeking an end to statutory backed producer boards, said ACT agriculture spokesman Gerry Eckhoff.
An independent Pipfruit Growers Association survey of Hawkes Bay apple growers found a large jump in demand for exporter choice. The survey consisted of the same three questions asked of the same growers in December 1998.
“New Zealand pipfruit exporters are disillusioned with the structure of their industry. Inadequate returns and a perceived lack of competition will ensure the era of Government backed monopolies comes to a long overdue end.
The survey asked growers if they believed Enza’s cost structure allowed growers to receive a commercially viable return? If they believed that if Enza were required to compete for their export crop that it would become more efficient?
And if they favoured apple and pear growers having a choice of exporter?
Responses favouring de-regulation increased by 45%, 13% and 52% respectively.
“The results clearly highlight grower frustration at what they believe is an under-performing monopoly export structure.
“ACT has repeatedly said that Government enforced primary industry monopolies should be abolished. This should be implemented through a well publicised transitional window, at the request of the growers concerned.
“Agriculture Minister Jim Sutton must respect the wishes of a growing number of New Zealand growers and de regulate the pip fruit industry,” said Gerry Eckhoff.