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Citrus growers in break into US market

20 December 2006

Anderton joins citrus growers in welcoming breakthrough into US market

New Zealand citrus growers can now export their fruit to the United States, generating a business estimated to be immediately worth $2 million dollars. The New Zealand citrus industry is increasingly export focused and believes this new market will quickly increase to $10 million.

Minister of Agriculture, Jim Anderton, said this breakthrough has come about following several years work with the United States Federal Government, "I expect the USA will quickly become a major export market. Together with access to the European Union gained earlier this year, this is a significant step forward in the growth of the New Zealand industry."

All species of citrus are eligible for export, effective immediately. Rick Curtis, Chairman of the New Zealand Citrus Growers Incorporated (NZCGI) joined the Minister in welcoming the news. "Whilst this should not be seen as a silver bullet, it allows us access to a huge, wealthy economy well-suited to the high quality niche products that our industry grows. It also allows us to diversify and removes some of our reliance on the Japanese market."

Mr Curtis added, "The application and granting of access to the USA has been a long process and I would like to acknowledge the input and skill from all those involved, both in the citrus industry and the relevant government departments that have offered us so much advice and support."

Working with the Ministry of Agriculture, NZCGI began their efforts to gain access to US markets in 2000. "The Federal Government rule-making process is complex and I congratulate those who have carefully and successfully worked their way through that process," Jim Anderton said.

ENDS

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