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Growers should stay out of ENZA loss - Greens

19 July 2001

Growers should stay out of ENZA loss - Greens

Marlborough-based Green MP Ian Ewen-Street today called the Government to urgently sort out the row between apple growers and their major exporter ENZA before it inoperably damaged the industry.

"Growers should not have to pay for the massive ENZA foreign exchange loss, otherwise a considerable number of them will go out of business," he said.

Mr Ewen-Street was responding to a report that ENZA's forerunner, the Apple and Pear Marketing Board, may have exposed growers to a $91 million loss through a complex web of foreign exchange deals. The Board of ENZA earlier announced that the growers would be charged $54 million in past debts, mostly foreign exchange losses.

A provisional report by the Apple and Pear Board, published today, has found that the contracts entered into by ENZA's predecessor went beyond its core business of marketing pipfruit and were therefore a breach of regulations. More than half the liabilities were the result of non-core activities by the apple exporter.

"We have heard today that some of the losses resulted from breaches of apple industry rules. If it is true, there is no justification for asking the growers to share the loss. It's the old rule: who plays with the law, has to pay by the law," said Mr Ewen-Street.

ENDS


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