The High Court of New Zealand has rejected the latest attempt by a one percent player in the New Zealand kiwifruit industry, Turners & Growers (T&G), to break up its successful marketing structure, managed by ZESPRI Group Ltd.
Five claims taken by T&G against ZESPRI under the Commerce Act, in a court case heard in May this year, have been thrown out. The Court also ordered costs be paid to ZESPRI.
These claims, which followed the rejection by the High Court of T&G’s initial attempt to have the Kiwifruit Industry Regulations declared illegal, focused on ZESPRI’s conduct within the current regulated industry framework.
The latest failure in T&G’s increasingly desperate campaign to break up the kiwifruit industry has led ZESPRI, the world’s most successful horticulture marketing company, to again call upon T&G to work constructively within the industry legislation to achieve its commercial objectives.
ZESPRI’s GM Grower and Government Relations Simon Limmer said since T&G began its deregulation campaign it had tried litigation, political pressure, secret talks with foreign Governments and threats to disrupt market access for New Zealand kiwifruit growers offshore.
He said defending the T&G litigation had cost kiwifruit growers millions of dollars.
“As we said from the outset, T&G’s litigation was always entirely without merit and is nothing but a publicity stunt in the context of their broader campaign to deregulate the industry.
“From our perspective the continued campaign to deregulate the industry is cynical and a waste of growers’ money, at a time when the industry is under tremendous pressure from Psa.
“This case, like T&G’s wider campaign, has been a pointless distraction for the New Zealand kiwifruit industry at a time when it is focused on much more pressing issues,” Mr Limmer said.