29 Jan 2015

Fine for false export documents

5:49 am on 29 January 2015

The pipfruit industry is supporting the prosecution of a packhouse that's been heavily fined for falsifying export documents.

Hawke's Bay packhouse Matipou Orchard Limited was fined $40,000 in the Hastings District Court yesterday after providing fraudulent documents, which led to non-complying apples being exported to Taiwan.

The company had claimed that the Taiwan-bound apples were sourced from orchards that were part of an official assurance programme.

It pleaded guilty to ten charges laid by the Ministry for Primary Industries and was no longer approved by MPI to hold a registration to export apples to Taiwan.

Pipfruit New Zealand chief executive Allan Pollard said the country's certification programmes have to be upheld because they allowed access into premium markets.

"MPI and industry negotiates sometimes very difficult and complex market access programmes and they do so because we can give confidence to the importing country about the quality and integrity of our product.

"It takes something like this to put the whole thing at risk.

"But I have to say that MPI on our behalf and the industry works very hard to ensure we have very strong relationships so when something like this does happen we can deal with it in a very rational way."