17 Aug 2010

Turners and Growers to appeal against Zespri decision

8:00 am on 17 August 2010

Fresh produce company Turners & Growers says it will appeal against a High Court ruled which quashed its attempt to overturn kiwifruit marketer Zespri's monopoly control of export markets.

The court ruled that the Kiwifruit Export Regulations 1999 were valid and the industry regulator, Kiwifruit New Zealand, has exclusive jurisdiction to consider complaints under the regulations.

Turners & Growers chairman Tony Gibbs says the company has reviewed the judgement in detail and will lodge its appeal as soon as possible.

Zespri chief executive Lain Jager had called for the company not to appeal, saying it would save shareholders, kiwifruit growers and Zespri the further expense of litigation.

But Turners & Growers says it still wants the right to be able to export its own kiwifruit varieties internationally, without restriction.

Under the regulations, Zespri controls the export and sale of New Zealand-grown kiwifruit, apart from trade with Australia.