INDEPENDENT NEWS

Jim Sutton Admits: The Monopoly Doesn’t Work

Published: Mon 4 Dec 2000 05:23 PM
Jim Sutton Admits: The Monopoly Doesn’t Work
Monday 4th Dec 2000 Gerry Eckhoff Media Release -- Other
ACT Agriculture spokesman Gerry Eckhoff, welcomes Agriculture Minister Jim Sutton’s statement that ENZA’s export monopoly does not increase grower returns.
Grower frustration at ENZA’s export monopoly will see orchardists march on Parliament this Wednesday to demand the removal of the statutory monopoly that is handicapping the industry.
“It is great that a Minister of Agriculture has finally admitted that ENZA’s export monopoly does not increase returns. All the ENZA monopoly does is remove choice and increase costs.
“Jim Sutton said on Friday that “at the end of the day it was not New Zealand's regulatory regime that determined prices, it was supply and demand in key overseas markets.”
“The statutory monopoly that is holding New Zealand orchardists captive does not allow innovation to meet this demand. There are currently fears that 80 per cent of Hawkes Bay’s main apple crop, Royal Gala, will be rejected for export because they are smaller than ENZA’s size limit.
“Other overseas markets will accept these apples, yet growers have to gain export approval from ENZA in a drawn out and complicated process. Basically, while Jim Sutton procrastinates on a common-sense decision, orchardists go broke and families fall apart.
“Apple producers are not prepared to miss out on the benefits of a low dollar that could guarantee their survival, just to guarantee the existence of an ineffective and failure ridden monopoly,” said Gerry Eckhoff.
ENDS
For more information visit ACT online at http://www.act.org.nz or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at act@parliament.govt.nz.

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