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Minister Meets ENZA

The dispute between apple marketer ENZA and growers should be resolved within the next two weeks, Agriculture Minister Jim Sutton said today.

Mr Sutton met ENZA chairman Tony Gibbs, chief executive Michael Dosser, and director Brian D'Ath this afternoon.

He said the three had briefed him on the situation as ENZA saw it.

"There is a significant number of consultations with other parties to be carried out. I've indicated that I and the Government are ready to support a process of resolving problems with industry.

"I'm hopeful we can move these things forward over the next week or so."

Mr Sutton said that, while it was nice to know the Government had the confidence of the Parliamentary Opposition, it was unlikely that the Government would legislate to resolve the issue.

"Only in the most extraordinary circumstances will the Government intervene to prevent people from accessing the rights provided to them in law."

Mr Sutton said that did not mean that it was impossible for legislation to occur, but growers had initiated arbitration with ENZA as provided for in their supply contracts, and the industry's watchdog also had an investigation into ENZA's foreign exchange dealings underway. It was important for those due processes to run their course, he said.


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