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Govt committed to long-term growth for pipfruit

Hon Jim Anderton
Minister for Economic Development
Hon Steve Maharey
Minister for Crown Research Institutes
Hon Paul Swain
Minister of Labour
Hon Damien O’Connor
Associate Minister of Agriculture

4 October 2005 Media Statement

Government committed to long-term growth for pipfruit industry

The Ministers for Economic Development, Crown Research Institutes, Labour, and Associate Agriculture, have invited the pipfruit industry to work with government officials to develop a long term strategic development plan to ensure the industry remains at the forefront of an increasingly competitive world market.

"The government is committed to working with growers to secure a sustainable long-term future for the industry," Jim Anderton said.

The caretaker government is encouraged by signs that the New Zealand apple industry is diversifying its produce, which over time, will help lessen the effects of the glut of some apple varieties in offshore markets.

The current oversupply of apples within key export markets such as Europe has dramatically reduced the returns for apple growers, raising concerns from Pipfruit New Zealand that many growers facing unprofitable returns could exit the industry and abandon their trees.

Pipfruit New Zealand submitted a request for a financial package to assist growers in removing uneconomic tree stocks from their orchards and to minimise the spread of pests from unmanaged orchards.

“While the caretaker government is concerned with the current low returns for apple growers, it has been decided that providing a $4 million subsidy to Pipfruit New Zealand members to remove uneconomic tree stock is not the best option," Jim Anderton said.

During this time, officials will continue to monitor the biosecurity risks on unmanaged orchards and liaise with Pipfruit New Zealand to ensure any biosecurity risks that may arise are actively managed.

ENDS

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