An agreement between the New Zealand and Mexico Governments to end the tariff on New Zealand kiwifruit exports to Mexico will return over $1 million to the kiwifruit industry.
ZESPRI’s GM Grower and Government Relations Simon Limmer said New Zealand was the only kiwifruit producing country to face a tariff on its kiwifruit exports to Mexico.
“We are very grateful for the efforts of Trade Minister Tim Groser, and New Zealand Embassy staff in Mexico, who have worked with the Mexico Government to achieve this change.
“Eliminating the tariff makes New Zealand kiwifruit more competitive in Mexico and removes a barrier to growing the market further,” Mr Limmer said.
Mr Limmer said the elimination of the tariff could not come at a better time for the industry with returns under pressure from lower crop volumes and returns as a result of Psa.
“This is a small but important win for us to be able to deliver growers. It will reduce the almost $40,000 burden that tariffs were estimated to have cost New Zealand kiwifruit growers in 2010.
“The result also underlines the benefit of an industry structure which can work with government in a coordinated manner to achieve outcomes that benefit the entire industry,” Mr Limmer said.
As part of the deepening relationship between New Zealand and Mexico, in particular with the Mexican state of Jalisco, the New Zealand kiwifruit industry has been working with Mexico to assess the potential to develop their own domestic kiwifruit industry.
Mr Limmer said Mexico is of interest to ZESPRI as a potential partner for its 12-month supply programme, which ensures a ZESPRI brand presence on shelves outside of the New Zealand growing season.
“With the likely impact of Psa on Gold volumes over coming seasons, identifying new growing regions free of Psa takes on a new importance. We think Mexico has real potential for them to become players in the Northern Hemisphere production.”