11 Aug 2010

Growers confident WTO decision won't be overturned

6:21 am on 11 August 2010

The pipfruit growers' organisation believes Australia will be unsuccessful in its appeal against a World Trade Organisation decision that it has no legal basis for restricting the importation of New Zealand apples.

The WTO's disputes panel rejected Australia's argument that importing New Zealand apples would risk the introduction of the bacterial disease of fireblight.

Australia has announced it will appeal against the decision, however Pipfruit New Zealand chairman Ian Palmer remains confident the fight is all but over.

"The decision that's come out is very clear, it's a very comprehensive win for us, the science is robust and I can't see how any of that will be affected under appeal."

Mr Palmer says the decision should help the industry get access into other markets that remain closed to New Zealand apples due to pest and disease restrictions and is worth hundreds of millions of dollars to the industry.