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Apple export system to be reviewed

The Apple and Pear Export Regulations 1999 would be reviewed after the end of this export season, Agriculture Minister Jim Sutton said today.

The regulations were new and it was appropriate that they be reviewed, Mr Sutton said.

However, due to the time required for proper consultation and the regulatory process, the regulations will remain unchanged for next season, with any substantive changes from the review which were supported by growers being made for the 2001-02 season.

Mr Sutton said that on the whole, it appeared the new system had worked adequately, but it was appropriate to review such an important export mechanism. There were undoubtedly refinements and improvements that would be made, in the light of this season's experience.

This season, ENZA marketed 18.2 million cartons, with independent exporters marketing 1.8 million cartonsthe total of 20 million is a record amount for New Zealand. Early reports to date indicate that despite an oversupplied market, New Zealand has consolidated its position as the highest quality southern hemisphere season supplier.

Several submissions for change had been made, Mr Sutton said, ranging from complete deregulation to the effective elimination of independent exporting. However, it appeared that growers and industry participants did not broadly support any particular proposal.

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

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