13 Oct 2011

Pipfruit NZ welcomes reactivation of grower groups

8:15 am on 13 October 2011

Pipfruit New Zealand chairman Ian Palmer says he welcomes the move by Nelson orchardists to reactivate grower groups - and, as a grower in that region, will join one himself.

The Mahana and and Motueka Fruitgrowers Associations have been resurrected in response to what growers call an unrepresentative Pipfruit New Zealand structure.

The interim chair of the Motueka group, Simon Easton, says growers are fed up after three seasons of losses, and want a group to lobby Pipfruit New Zealand and the Government.

Mr Easton says he hopes a national grower body will eventually be set up.

Mr Palmer says a grower body is an appropriate addition to the industry. He says Pipfruit New Zealand itself was a grower organisation - then it evolved and inherited a lot of industry activities, and now it's an industry organisation.

Mr Palmer says re-forming the associations to focus on grower issues is very compatible with what his organisation is doing.

He says the more opportunities growers have to talk with each other and work together, the better.