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Apple Export Consultations Results

Agriculture Minister Jim Sutton in Hawkes Bay today made public a report analysing submissions on the future direction of apple exports.

Mr Sutton said the apple industry was going through a period of some turmoil at the moment, and it was important to set a direction that can provide confidence to the industry for the future.

"We grow excellent apples in this country, and we need to ensure that we can set in place the most efficient and profitable exporting system in place so that growers benefit from their labour."

Last year, the Government invited apple industry participants to make submissions on a discussion paper which proposed four options: the status quo, returning to a single desk seller, total deregulation, or a Horticulture Export Authority model.

The report, prepared by Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry analysts, says that 121 submissions were received. Of those, 85 submissions supported contestable exporting, either through deregulation or the Horticulture Export Authority model.

Those advocating deregulation include growers, grower organisations, exporters, former New Zealand Apple and Pear Marketing Board and ENZA board members, Maori stakeholders, and post-harvest operators.

Mr Sutton said a lot more work needed to be done before any decision to change export rules would be made by Government.

"This is not a decision I will make on my own. Cabinet as a whole would make any decision, These submissions, provide a useful basis to move forward. The Government will only make decisions when it is confident the industry will be behind those decisions, that they are in the national interest, and that any minority interests are addressed."

Office of Hon Jim Sutton

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