Zespri welcomes the Government’s announcement that Cabinet has approved amendments to the Kiwifruit Export Regulations.
Zespri Chairman Peter McBride explains these regulatory changes represent the first major review of the regulations since they were put in place 17 years ago.
“The Kiwifruit Regulations have served the industry very well and extensive industry consultation showed more than 97 percent of growers support the industry structure, with minor changes identified to position the industry for the strong growth ahead.
“These regulatory amendments help position the kiwifruit industry for growth, as we look to more than double sales revenue to $4.5 billion by 2025.”
This announcement signals a significant milestone in a comprehensive industry review process spanning almost three years, including last year’s grower referendum which had the highest turnout in a horticultural referendum in recent history.
Mr McBride says growers asked the government to amend the regulations to allow for closer shareholding alignment with production, update the definition of Zespri’s core business and provide the regulator Kiwifruit New Zealand (KNZ) with a broader skill set and more independence.
“These changes to the regulations will enable Zespri shareholders to vote on amendments to Zespri’s constitution to align shareholding more closely with production. This ensures that New Zealand kiwifruit growers continue to own and control Zespri. Our roadmap towards closer alignment will be outlined at the Zespri Annual Meeting later this month.”
The Government has also updated the definition of Zespri’s core business. In making these changes, the Government has acknowledged that Zespri’s model has evolved, recognising that innovation, market development and marketing are essential in leading lead the world in delivering quality kiwifruit and providing strong returns to New Zealand growers.
“I would like to acknowledge Minister Nathan Guy for his continued support of the industry through this process, and I would also like to acknowledge the positive engagement shown by the Ministry for Primary Industries,” says Mr McBride.
These regulatory changes are part of a broader package of initiatives agreed by the industry. Other changes either implemented or underway include the formation of a National Maori Growers Forum, a new proactive approach to collaborative marketing, and an improved share trading platform for Zespri shares.