Chile: ASOEX "repeatedly communicated" monopolistic concerns to Zespri
Chilean Fruit Exporters Association (ASOEX) president Ronald Bown has refuted claims that sufficient evidence hasn't been presented to the New Zealand kiwifruit industry over alleged anti-competitive behavior in overseas markets.
Just a week after Bown's statements against New Zealand kiwifruit exporter Zespri, on Saturday he appeared again in the pages of Chilean national newspaper El Mercurio speaking out against comments made throughout last week by Zespri chief executive Lain Jager and NZKGI CEO Nikki Johnson.
Jager had offered Bown a "standing invitation" to provide details of these allegations, while Johnson said no information had been received to enable NZKGI to conduct an investigation into the single desk marketer.
El Mercurio reported Bown said on "repeated occasions" he had communicated with Zespri about the company's alleged "monopolistic attitude" in markets such as Malaysia, Japan and the United States.
Last week Fresh Fruit Portal requested an interview with Bown to further explore the allegations but we were only met with the statement: "We are analyzing all the information, which will be delivered in a timely manner".
El Mercurio reports that Bown and Chilean Kiwifruit Committee president Carlos Cruzat revealed a series of letters sent from Chile to New Zealand addressing alleged obstacles faced by Chilean exporters in their competition against Zespri.
The story reported Bown rejected Jager's declarations, whereby the New Zealander recognized a fine for anti-competitive behavior in South Korea in 2011 but emphasized the issue was in the past.
"There was a sanction but the effect is that Chile has lost participation in that market, which was won by Zespri," Bown was quoted as saying.
The executive added that in Japan, where he claimed Zespri has a 95% market participation, a complaint was made against Zespri for alleged monopolistic conduct and the issue is still being processed.