Kiwifruit battler Turners & Growers is to appeal last week’s High Court ruling in favour of export giant Zespri.
Last week the High Court in Auckland declined a first cause of action and struck out two others taken by T&G.
T&G chairman Tony Gibbs said the company had reviewed the judgment over the weekend and would lodge its appeal as soon as possible.
On Friday, the High Court found the Kiwifruit Export Regulations were validly established 11 years ago and that Kiwifruit New Zealand, the industry regulator has exclusive jurisdiction to consider complaints under those regulations.
This morning New Zealand Kiwifruit Growers Inc president Peter Ombler said he was pleased with the judgment.
“We now look forward to putting this matter behind us and getting on with growing and selling kiwifruit as well as possible.”
Mr Ombler said the security of the judgment should provide kiwifruit growers with confidence to further grow and develop the industry with new and existing cultivars.
On Friday, Zespri chief executive Lain Jager said it would be “highly desirable” if T&G chose not to appeal.
T&G chairman Tony Gibbs said in a statement today that he appreciated that Zespri wished to avoid “further scrutiny of its behaviour and its extraordinary position as a private company with a statutory monopoly.”
“Mr Jager’s call for Turners & Growers not to appeal the High Court decision was wishful thinking,” he said.
T&G lodged a statement of claim with the High Court last year claiming Zespri had abused its dominant position for the purpose of preserving its monopoly after industry regulation.
It was claimed Zespri was seeking to tie growers, suppliers and post harvest operators into exclusivity contracts; had attempted to take control of the supply of kiwifruit for export to Australia; and was attempting to take control of new kiwifruit cultivars.
Further claims by T&G suggested Zespri had unlawfully discriminated among suppliers of kiwifruit by paying more for fruit supplied by growers who were prepared to sign exclusivity agreements with the company.
Last week’s judgment considered only the validity of kiwifruit export regulations giving Zespri a monopoly and whether the High Court had jurisdiction to determine if Zespri had discriminated against potential exporters or failed to allow diversification.
Mon, 16 Aug 2010