31 Oct 2014

Growers worried about Watties closure

6:54 am on 31 October 2014

Asparagus growers are worried about the impact that closing a major canning facility will have on their industry.

Asparagus Council chair Tony Rickman said the industry was struggling to make money from exports due to the high New Zealand dollar. It was also likely to lose another avenue for its product with Watties announcing it would no longer can asparagus after this season.

"A lot of growers in the lower North Island traditionally supply the processor with asparagus to go into cans, but with Watties discontinuing their asparagus canning,and opting to import cheaper asparagus from overseas, that will lead to an oversupply in the domestic market - ie supermarkets or fruit and veg shops - and hence that puts a bit of price pressure on as well."

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