25 Jul 2013

Growers want inquiry into kiwifruit industry

7:12 pm on 25 July 2013

A group of kiwifruit growers calling for an independent inquiry into the structure of the kiwifruit industry says Zespri's AGM in Tauranga on Wednesday allowed a lot of issues to be aired.

With the exception of the Australian market, all kiwifruit which is exported must go through Zespri - the industry's single desk marketer.

Ross Hart is a member of the Independent Kiwifruit Growers Association, which describes itself as the kiwifruit industry's true watchdog, and he says Zespri's share system is flawed.

Mr Hart says growers are also unhappy with Zespri repeatedly being fined for illegal trade practices abroad.

He says the group has been responsible for exposing a lot of the serious issues, particularly offshore, with respect to international serious fines which when incurred by Zespri, the growers have to pay.

As well as the Independent Kiwifruit Growers Association, the Act Party and Turners & Growers oppose Zespri's legislated market dominance.

Also at the AGM, Zespri confirmed that in the 2012 - 2013 season it got growers the highest returns on green kiwifruit since 2003, a record return for gold kiwifruit, and the highest organic returns since 2008.