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ENZA past losses - Jim Sutton Statement

It appeared that ENZA has been unable to obtain grower support for a levy to recover past losses, Agriculture Minister Jim Sutton said today.

"It is clear that at this point, there is not a consensus in the industry for this."

The Government said two weeks ago that it would only consider an ENZA proposal for a compulsory levy to deal with past losses if ENZA could demonstrate a majority of industry participants supported that proposal, that it was fair to minority players, and was in the public interest.

Mr Sutton said it was now obvious that there was widespread doubt and scepticism amongst growers that the foreign exchange losses, at least in part, were appropriately allocated to them.

"Having spoken to many growers, it is clear that few accept that the forex losses are appropriately attributed to them, at least in their entirity."

Mr Sutton said he was expecting legal advice on the issue soon, and he was aware that other people were also seeking legal advice.

"Some may resort to the courts to protect their interests as they perceive them.

"I don't want to pre-judge the issue, but it is only fair to point out that, at this stage, that it does not look as if a levy on all growers to recover past losses is a runner."

ENDS

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