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Parliament Doesn't Have A Mandate For Compulsion

ACT is standing with the country's apple growers telling the Parliament it must set a date for an end to ENZA's monopoly position.

"New Zealand Apple Growers should no longer be the only ones in the world forced to sell their fruit to a state monopoly," according to ACT Rural spokesman Owen Jennings.

"A bank in Hawkes Bay has said publicly that up to 25% of growers are in a critical condition. They are fighting for their survival.

"ACT believes there should be a sunset clause in the Apple & Pear Industry Restructuring Bill. By not including such a clause in the Bill politicians are just bypassing the key issue of deregulation.

"Recent dramatic changes in the market place for apples have highlighted the fact that Government does not have a mandate to impose compulsion on the apple industry.

"ENZA promised apple growers $14 a carton for their Braeburn apples this year. That price has collapsed to between $7 and $9. The situation for many growing families is desperate and they need choice to survive.

"By continuing to force apple growers to sell their fruit to ENZA, the monopoly single desk seller, Government is stifling innovation and forcing some growers out of business.

"There are growers who want out of ENZA, they want to be able to choose who they sell their fruit to and to get the best price they can. They deserve that choice.

"Parliament must review its position on compulsion. It is absolutely inequitable and without conscience to force growers to lock themselves into a marketing arrangement that is putting growers livelihoods and the apple industry in jeopardy," said Owen Jennings.

ENDS

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