Zespri must go, says OECD - FreshFruitPortal.com

Zespri must go, says OECD

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Zespri must go, says OECD

The Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) has criticized New Zealand's product market regulation and highlighted Zespri's kiwifruit monopoly as a barrier that needs to go.

Its report, OECD Economic Surveys: New Zealand 2011, says regulations need to 'emphasise the minimization of barriers to international trade and investment', labelling the country's trade performance as 'decidedly mediocre'.

"While most other OECD countries have been focusing reform efforts on problem areas and thereby improving the coherence of their regulatory frameworks with respect to encouraging competition, policy inconsistency has been escalating in New Zealand," the report said.

On page 128 the report specifically recommends New Zealand "Remove all remaining tariffs and Zespri's export monopoly on kiwifruit".

New Zealand horticultural company Turners & Growers issued a release pointing out the OECD's findings were similar to a government-commissioned 2025 Taskforce, which also claimed Zespri's 'monopoly powers' should be revoked.

"It is not clear what public policy interest would justify a Zespri monopoly that prevented, say, 35% of growers who wished to do so from selling their fruit abroad through other companies.  The vines and fruit are private property," the 2025 Taskforce report said.

Turners & Growers is currently involved in a High Court case against Zespri's monopoly.

Related story: Former T&G chairman 'quietly confident' for Zespri court case

NZ opposition supports Zespri


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