ZESPRI International Limited says it is focused on ensuring a successful finish to the New Zealand Kiwifruit selling season, and will not become publicly engaged in the detail of trade policy issues reported in the domestic media this week.
A spokeswoman for ZESPRI, Carol Ward, confirmed that earlier this year unsolicited information had come to the company’s attention which suggested efforts were underway to compromise the New Zealand Government’s trade policy.
“ZESPRI was concerned that the activities that had come to our attention were unhelpful to New Zealand’s national interest and international relations and the Minister has confirmed that. As he has said, it appears that Turners & Growers, having failed to convince New Zealand Kiwifruit growers or the New Zealand Government of the merits of its case, has now turned to seeking to work with foreign governments,” Ms Ward said.
“ZESPRI is grateful for the Minister’s assistance and for his public reconfirmation of the New Zealand Government’s policy that it will support ZESPRI and our SPE marketing arrangements for as long as they have the support of growers. Given the commercial and diplomatic sensitivities of these matters, it is not appropriate for us to provide more detailed public comment.”