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More Boysenberries To Be Sold To Europe

14 January 2002

The European Union this month removed the tariff on imports of New Zealand frozen boysenberries, Trade Negotiations Minister Jim Sutton said today.

The quota of 1500 tonnes, during the period 1 January 2002 to 30 June 2002, remains the same.

Mr Sutton said that New Zealand officials had been pressing the European Union for a reduction of the tariff on imports of New Zealand blockfrozen boysenberries for the past six months.

"New Zealand has an autonomous tariff quota allowing 1500 tonnes of blockfrozen boysenberries to be imported into the European Union. However, the tariff rate of 12% meant that we could not compete against rival berry products entering Europe duty free.

"Our trade in boysenberries - which are used in the European manufacturing industry for jams, preserves, ice cream, yoghurt, and beverages - was stagnating."

Mr Sutton said a co-ordinated lobbying campaign in Europe by industry representatives and agriculture and trade officials achieved the tariff reduction.

"We now have our sights set on persuading European authorities to also lift the tonnage restriction on boysenberries so the fruit can enter Europe duty free and in unlimited volumes. It's possible such a change could happen from July this year."

Mr Sutton said that although the value of the exports was not large, the zero tariff now meant New Zealand exporters could compete on an equal footing.

"With continued strong demand for boysenberries from European importers, we expect quantities, and thus returns to growers, to increase considerably as a result of this successful campaign."

Ends


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