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Government to fund pipfruit industry strategy

24 May 2006

Government to fund pipfruit industry strategy

The Labour-Progressive government will part-fund an industry-led strategy for the pipfruit industry with the aim of improving its long-term sustainability, Economic Development Minister Trevor Mallard and Agriculture Minister Jim Anderton announced today.

Pipfruit New Zealand, the representative organisation of pipfruit growers, will receive a $200,000 grant from the Ministry of Economic Development’s sector initiatives fund. Pipfruit New Zealand will also provide a direct contribution of $25,000 and there will be substantial in-kind contributions from within the industry.

"The New Zealand pipfruit industry is an important part of our food and beverage sector, accounting for 25 percent of the horticulture industry. However it is currently facing significant challenges that need to be addressed," Trevor Mallard said.

"The funding will go towards developing a strategy to examine the long-term future of the industry and identify the changes that are necessary for the industry to maintain competitiveness."

The industry-led strategy project will analyse international markets, investigate the ability of the local industry to compete under current cost structures and assess the changes necessary to secure the long-term future of the industry.

Trevor Mallard says the development of a strategy is just part of a package of initiatives that the industry is undertaking to ensure its sustainability.

"The pipfruit industry has developed a number of smart responses, including developing a TrustMark to distinguish high quality New Zealand fruit. Government and industry have also been working together to address labour shortages and the Labour-Progressive government remains committed to increasing market access for exporters."

Agriculture Minister Jim Anderton says the strategy will enable Pipfruit New Zealand to enhance the industry’s strengths.

"The strategy process can provide significant benefits through enhancing industry co-operation and strategic planning, and by encouraging the industry to move towards improved quality and innovation."

The Ministry of Economic Development’s Sector Initiatives Fund is a grant scheme for industry projects that are consistent with the Labour-Progressive government's economic, social and environmental objectives, but fall outside the criteria of other government assistance programmes. Once a grant has been approved, funds are paid out on the completion of agreed milestones.

ENDS

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