Turners & Growers Billboard Kiwifruit Campaign
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Turners & Growers Billboard Campaign Highlights Cost of
Outdated Kiwifruit Regulations
New Zealand’s leading distributor, marketer and exporter of premium fresh produce, Turners & Growers is highlighting the need for changes to the decade old Kiwifruit Export Regulations on high profile billboards that will run in Auckland and Wellington.
Turners & Growers CEO, Jeff Wesley says that the regulatory regime established in 1999 was designed for an industry that only had one commodity to sell. “The Kiwifruit export Regulations 1999 simply haven’t kept up with the growth of new varieties and have become a handbrake on innovation and export earnings.”
“At the time the Regulations were put in place the objective was to maximise returns for the Hayward (green) variety of kiwifruit, the only variety in commercial production. Today, the industry is in a very different state, with a number of new kiwifruit varieties being grown in New Zealand and around the world to satisfy consumer demand for new tastes and products.”
“The current call is for New Zealand businesses in the primary production sector to invest and innovate in high value new products that will succeed in international markets. But we have an aged regulatory framework that restricts anyone but Zespri from selling kiwifruit outside New Zealand and Australia, even if they own that variety,” says Mr Wesley.
“This is limiting choice and opportunities for growers to convert to lucrative new varieties and it’s a handbrake on the potential export earnings and new market opportunities these varieties will bring into New Zealand.”
“Unlike Zespri, which holds the Plant Variety Rights (PVR) for ZespriGold and has exercised its full rights to commercialise the crop, other owners of kiwifruit PVRs in New Zealand are currently prevented from doing the same because of the outdated Regulations.”
In New Zealand, the PVR Act 1987 is intended to promote innovation and investment by giving those who develop new plant varieties the exclusive right of commercial development. However, unlike any other fruit or vegetable variety in New Zealand, the Kiwifruit Export Regulations specifically prevent this for kiwifruit.
“By cutting this outdated red tape and restoring the property rights of PVR owners, all kiwifruit growers stand to benefit from greater choice in the varieties they can grow and export, ” he said.
In 1959 Turners & Growers coined the name ‘Kiwifruit’ as it worked to establish the export market for NZ-grown Chinese Gooseberries in the United States. Turners & Growers remains at the forefront of the kiwifruit industry with several new varieties that it has developed and tested for production and export from New Zealand. The company holds the global Intellectual Property Rights to ENZAGold™, ENZARed™ and the regional rights to Summerkiwi.™
About Turners & Growers:
Turners & Growers is New Zealand’s leading distributor, marketer and exporter of premium fresh produce and the largest corporate horticulture investor in New Zealand. Turners & Growers is a large-scale grower of several fruit varieties including Kiwifruit.
In January 2003, Turners & Growers merged with ENZA (formerly the New Zealand Apple & Pear Marketing Board). ENZA is a leading player in the global pipfruit trade, with strong global customer relationships and a history of innovation. Following the merger, Turners & Growers saw an opportunity to pursue a new kiwifruit variety development programme using ENZA’s development background.
Turners and Growers has already started converting many of the company’s own Hayward vines to its new varieties in New Zealand. ENZAGold™ is already in commercial production. The first Summerkiwi™ fruit have been picked in Kerikeri this year and in 2011 Turners & Growers will be grafting several thousand ENZARed™ plants on its orchards, following the international success of the world’s first commercialised red kiwifruit variety.