Kiwifruit Collaboration Arrangements ‘Most Likely Illegal’ In International Markets
Claims by former senior personnel of Turners and Growers that Kiwifruit New Zealand’ s application process for
Collaborative Marketing Arrangements (CMA) with Zespri is ‘farcical’ and ‘lacks openness, fairness and integrity’ is
further indication that all is not well in the kiwifruit industry, ACT New Zealand Primary Industries Spokesman Robin
Grieve said today.
Former Turners and Growers development manager, Murray Malone, and former Managing Director of Turners and Growers,
Jeff Wesley, told rural newspaper ‘Straight Furrow’ that New Zealand’s collaborative arrangements could be seen as
collusion in the eyes of international trade.
They say, under the CMA process growers are ‘forced to collude with Zespri to fix price and to dominate market
position.’ While not illegal in New Zealand, this is ‘most likely illegal in some of the target markets in which the
fruit is sold including China’.
“Growers in the kiwifruit industry have faced big challenges over recent times and it is imperative that their financial
returns are not compromised by an inefficient and dysfunctional marketing system which has the government’s fingerprints
all over it,” Mr Grieve said.
“The government imposed a monopolistic marketing system on the industry and then just walked away, leaving Zespri
without proper oversight. Now the problems are piling up.
“Without the option to take their business elsewhere growers are trapped. It is time the government, which denied
growers the freedom to sell their produce elsewhere, takes its obligations more seriously.
“ACT has been calling on Minister Nathan Guy to launch an independent inquiry into Zespri since it was convicted in
China for smuggling. Yesterday, ACT called for the potential inquiry to include claims by growers that they are
subjected to bullying and secrecy by the company.
“The Minister owes it to growers to initiate an inquiry to ensure his regulations are not propping up a marketing system
that is costing growers’ money and possibly forcing them to act illegally,” Mr Grieve said.