15 Sep 2015

Far from rosy for flower growers

3:09 pm on 15 September 2015

New Zealand flower growers are investigating whether millions of imported roses from India are being dumped in New Zealand and under-cutting the industry here.

red rose

Photo: 123RF

Dumping is regarded as the selling of imported goods at a price below the cost of production.

Flower Association immediate past president David Blewden said $3.3 million roses were imported from India last year, at a cost of 24 cents a stem.

He said the Indian Government was subsidising some flower growers and the association was looking into what impact that could have in New Zealand as a result.

"We are aware that the national government in India has identified floriculture as a future potential economic driver for their economy and is keen to see that sector grow," Mr Blewden said.

"We've heard farmers who chose to cultivate Dutch roses, they can receive up to a 50 percent subsidy from the central government and a further 20 percent subsidy from their state government to build their infrastructure, buy their planting material and also their fertilisers."

Mr Blewden said the association was gathering data to see whether action could be taken under the Dumping and Countervailing Duties Act.

"The association is attempting to determine just what degree these roses that are coming to New Zealand are subsidised and if it is shown to be a significant proportion, or that the subsides are allowing them to be landed in New Zealand at what are very lows prices per stem, then we will be taking a case to the government."

Mr Blewden said flower growers were also concerned about the biosecurity risks associated with imported flowers.

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