29 Mar 2010

Date set for kiwifruit court battle

6:31 am on 29 March 2010

The High Court in Auckland has set a date when it will hear arguments from produce company Turners and Growers challenging the single-desk marketing structure for kiwifruit and Zespri's control of exports.

Turners wants the right to export its own fruit and market new kiwifruit varieties - something it is prevented from doing outside Australia without permission from kiwifruit marketer Zespri.

Turners thinks the regulations which provide Zespri with its export powers are unlawful because they are inconsistent with the Commerce Act and the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act.

It has also accused Zespri of abusing its powers by seeking to tie growers, suppliers and post harvest operators into exclusivity contracts.

The hearing is scheduled to start on 1 November and is set down for five weeks.