ZESPRI’s Chief Executive, Lain Jager, says the company remains willing to work constructively with Turners & Growers Ltd (T&G) on a multi-year collaborative marketing application involving new cultivars that it hopes would be capable of being approved by industry regulator Kiwifruit New Zealand (KNZ).
Mr Jager was commenting on the decision by industry regulator Kiwifruit New Zealand that it could not approve the latest application by Turners & Growers (T&G) to export New Zealand kiwifruit beyond Australia.
The application was to export multiple varieties, some of which have not yet been planted in New Zealand, to unspecified markets for a period of five years with renewals for up to 20 years.
“The application could not be supported by ZESPRI because it amounted to open slather and T&G did not show it was in the best interests of New Zealand kiwifruit growers, as the law requires,” Mr Jager said.
“Should T&G be interested in coming back with a more serious proposal that it can show is in the interests of New Zealand kiwifruit growers, we are confident we will be able to advise the regulator that we support it.
“Collaborative marketing is working. Already ZESPRI works with 13 companies, including T&G, which are exporting kiwifruit beyond Australia. This includes, for the first time, the recently announced collaborative marketing arrangement involving a new variety, First Gold developed by Gisborne-based First Fresh.”
Mr Jager said it was disappointing T&G had not been prepared to move from its demand that there effectively be a 20-year free-for-all.
“We have had senior executives working for nearly a year to try to make this work for T&G, but it appears T&G is more interested in trying to make a political point than make progress commercially.”