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ACT Calls For An End To Zespri Export Monopoly

ACT Calls For An End To Zespri Export Monopoly

Press Release by ACT New Zealand Primary Industries Spokesman Don Nicolson
Monday, March 25 2013

ACT New Zealand Primary Industry Spokesman Don Nicolson today called for an end to Zespri’s export monopoly following the revelation that a Zespri subsidiary, Zespri Management Consulting Corporation, and one of its employees were found guilty in a Shanghai Court of false customs declaration.

“In 1999, the Government passed the Kiwifruit Industry Restructuring Act to restructure the kiwifruit industry and create a monopoly exporter which all New Zealand kiwifruit growers are forced to use to sell their products,” Mr Nicolson said.

“Not all growers have been happy at being forced to use Zespri and after these latest revelations who could blame them? What grower would want to associate with a company that has been involved in criminal activity? The unethical actions of one subsidiary has undermined confidence in Zespri with the fallout affecting the whole New Zealand industry.

“The best way to keep a business honest is by allowing customers to vote with their feet and leave if they are unhappy. But under the 1999 Act, New Zealand growers are unable to export their kiwifruit through anyone else and are stuck with Zespri no matter what they do.

“The New Zealand Kiwifruit Growers Incorporated is instigating an inquiry but ACT doubts it has a wide enough scope or independence from the industry to be satisfactory.

“ACT believes ‘less is best’ when it comes to government involvement in business and in the lives of citizens. Therefore we believe the Government should move to amend the Kiwifruit Industry Restructuring Act 1999 to give kiwifruit growers the freedom to export their products to the destinations and customers of their choice,” Mr Nicolson said.

ENDS

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