21 Jul 2010

Zespri monopoly unfair, unwanted - opponent

6:08 am on 21 July 2010

Turners & Growers says its legal bid to break Zespri's kiwifruit export monopoly is not a waste of time, as an increasing number of growers want to choose how they export their fruit.

The fresh produce company has mounted a legal challenge to Zespri's monopoly.

Lawyer Campbell Walker told the the High Court at Auckland that the company wants a system in place which would allow growers to export alongside Zespri.

Mr Walker says Zespri has complete freedom over how much kiwifruit it purchases and how much it pays growers, while growers don't have any say.

He says there is nothing to stop Zespri paying as little as it wants to growers, or what portion of the profits it takes.

Zespri, which is expected to make its submission on Wednesday, says that 90% of growers are happy with it and that Turners is trying to break up the industry.

Turners & Growers is asking the High Court to consider whether the export regulations are unlawful.