ZESPRI has welcomed today’s High Court judgment which struck out all three claims raised by Turners & Growers (T&G) and has reconfirmed its invitation to T&G to discuss how T&G’s commercial aspirations can be achieved under the collaborative marketing provisions of the Kiwifruit Export Regulations 1999.
ZESPRI was commenting after today’s High Court judgment in favour of its view, and that of the Attorney-General on behalf of the New Zealand Government, that the Kiwifruit Export Regulations 1999 were validly established 11 years ago and that Kiwifruit New Zealand, the industry regulator, has exclusive jurisdiction to consider complaints under those Regulations.
ZESPRI CEO Lain Jager said: “The Court today rejecting T&G’s claims represents a natural juncture in its political campaign to break up the New Zealand Kiwifruit industry and it would be highly desirable if T&G now decided not to subject kiwifruit growers, ZESPRI and its own shareholders to the further expense of prolonged litigation through an appeal.
“We have always believed that the collaborative marketing provisions provide the best and least-cost path forward for T&G and others to develop export opportunities that will benefit New Zealand Kiwifruit growers and their own shareholders. Already 17 companies are exporting kiwifruit from New Zealand through collaborative marketing and we expect these programmes will continue to grow in the future.
“The New Zealand Government, the New Zealand Opposition, 90 percent of kiwifruit growers and now the High Court of New Zealand have each confirmed their support for the existing arrangements. Now is the time for common sense to prevail and for T&G to put forward sensible and robust collaborative marketing proposals capable of being accepted by the industry regulator.
“That is in the best interests not just of New Zealand and New Zealand Kiwifruit growers but also T&G and its shareholders.”