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Produce industry praises Senate for immigration vote, urges House to act

WASHINGTON—The agricultural industry wasted no time hailing the Senate for passing, by a 68-32 vote, an immigration reform bill on June 27, but the focus quickly shifts to the House and a July 10 meeting where the House Republican leadership will carve out next steps for immigration reform.

The “Gang of Eight” Senators spearheaded this bill, and Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Michael Bennet (D-CO) and Orrin Hatch (R-UT) worked behind the scenes to forge an agreement between the Agriculture Workforce Coalition and the United Farm Workers on the agricultural provisions that producers and farm workers could live with.

For the produce industry, immigration reform has been a number one issue for years and the Senate vote was nothing short of historic.

“This bill will ease the burden on agricultural employers, create more jobs along the entire supply chain and boost the economy,” said Tom Stenzel, chief executive officer of the United Fresh Produce Association. “We appreciate the efforts of our allies in the Agriculture Workforce Coalition and United Farm Workers with whom we worked to advance provisions that will provide a legal and stable workforce for fruit and vegetable growers.”

“The hardworking farmers, farm workers and workers from every affected industry deserve a new immigration system from its elected representatives,” said Western Growers CEO and President Tom Nassif, who thanked lawmakers for their leadership in approving S. 744.

United Farm Workers said the bill “fulfills the urgent need for an earned legalization program that enables undocumented farm workers who are the backbone of the nation’s agricultural industry to swiftly obtain legal immigration satus,” as well as stablize the farm labor workforce by providing incentives for workers to continue jobs in agriculture.

All eyes turn to the House, which is scheduled for a weeklong break in their districts before returning to Capitol Hill for a much-anticipated July 10 meeting with House Republican leadership on the best ways to tackle immigration reform legislation. Chances of considering the Senate-passed bill in the House are slim.

“The Senate’s passage was remarkable in a lot of ways, but it’s just the next step in a journey,” said Mike Stuart, president of the Florida Fruit & Vegetable Association. The House needs 218 votes to pass a bill that can go into conference and work out differences on the agricultural provisions, he said.

“We need to get to conference or we won’t have any bill,” Stuart added.

The Produce News | Today’s Headlines

Produce industry praises Senate for immigration vote, urges House to act

WASHINGTON—The agricultural industry wasted no time hailing the Senate for passing, by a 68-32 vote, an immigration reform bill on June 27, but the focus quickly shifts to the House and a July 10 meeting where the House Republican leadership will carve out next steps for immigration reform.

The “Gang of Eight” Senators spearheaded this bill, and Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Michael Bennet (D-CO) and Orrin Hatch (R-UT) worked behind the scenes to forge an agreement between the Agriculture Workforce Coalition and the United Farm Workers on the agricultural provisions that producers and farm workers could live with.

For the produce industry, immigration reform has been a number one issue for years and the Senate vote was nothing short of historic.

“This bill will ease the burden on agricultural employers, create more jobs along the entire supply chain and boost the economy,” said Tom Stenzel, chief executive officer of the United Fresh Produce Association. “We appreciate the efforts of our allies in the Agriculture Workforce Coalition and United Farm Workers with whom we worked to advance provisions that will provide a legal and stable workforce for fruit and vegetable growers.”

“The hardworking farmers, farm workers and workers from every affected industry deserve a new immigration system from its elected representatives,” said Western Growers CEO and President Tom Nassif, who thanked lawmakers for their leadership in approving S. 744.

United Farm Workers said the bill “fulfills the urgent need for an earned legalization program that enables undocumented farm workers who are the backbone of the nation’s agricultural industry to swiftly obtain legal immigration satus,” as well as stablize the farm labor workforce by providing incentives for workers to continue jobs in agriculture.

All eyes turn to the House, which is scheduled for a weeklong break in their districts before returning to Capitol Hill for a much-anticipated July 10 meeting with House Republican leadership on the best ways to tackle immigration reform legislation. Chances of considering the Senate-passed bill in the House are slim.

“The Senate’s passage was remarkable in a lot of ways, but it’s just the next step in a journey,” said Mike Stuart, president of the Florida Fruit & Vegetable Association. The House needs 218 votes to pass a bill that can go into conference and work out differences on the agricultural provisions, he said.

“We need to get to conference or we won’t have any bill,” Stuart added.

The Produce News | Today’s Headlines

Produce industry praises Senate for immigration vote, urges House to act

WASHINGTON—The agricultural industry wasted no time hailing the Senate for passing, by a 68-32 vote, an immigration reform bill on June 27, but the focus quickly shifts to the House and a July 10 meeting where the House Republican leadership will carve out next steps for immigration reform.

The “Gang of Eight” Senators spearheaded this bill, and Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Michael Bennet (D-CO) and Orrin Hatch (R-UT) worked behind the scenes to forge an agreement between the Agriculture Workforce Coalition and the United Farm Workers on the agricultural provisions that producers and farm workers could live with.

For the produce industry, immigration reform has been a number one issue for years and the Senate vote was nothing short of historic.

“This bill will ease the burden on agricultural employers, create more jobs along the entire supply chain and boost the economy,” said Tom Stenzel, chief executive officer of the United Fresh Produce Association. “We appreciate the efforts of our allies in the Agriculture Workforce Coalition and United Farm Workers with whom we worked to advance provisions that will provide a legal and stable workforce for fruit and vegetable growers.”

“The hardworking farmers, farm workers and workers from every affected industry deserve a new immigration system from its elected representatives,” said Western Growers CEO and President Tom Nassif, who thanked lawmakers for their leadership in approving S. 744.

United Farm Workers said the bill “fulfills the urgent need for an earned legalization program that enables undocumented farm workers who are the backbone of the nation’s agricultural industry to swiftly obtain legal immigration satus,” as well as stablize the farm labor workforce by providing incentives for workers to continue jobs in agriculture.

All eyes turn to the House, which is scheduled for a weeklong break in their districts before returning to Capitol Hill for a much-anticipated July 10 meeting with House Republican leadership on the best ways to tackle immigration reform legislation. Chances of considering the Senate-passed bill in the House are slim.

“The Senate’s passage was remarkable in a lot of ways, but it’s just the next step in a journey,” said Mike Stuart, president of the Florida Fruit & Vegetable Association. The House needs 218 votes to pass a bill that can go into conference and work out differences on the agricultural provisions, he said.

“We need to get to conference or we won’t have any bill,” Stuart added.

The Produce News | Today’s Headlines

DeLauro Urges OMB to Finalize Two Food Rules

Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) is urging the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to finalize two pending food safety rules.

DeLauro wrote to OMB director Shaun Donovan Monday, expressing her concern that if the mechanically tenderized beef rule and a rule regarding added solutions in meat and poultry products are not completed before the end of the year, they will be delayed until at least 2018.

There is concern that mechanically tenderized beef products are more likely to cause foodborne illness than whole cuts if not cooked properly, so food safety advocates are calling for mechanically tenderized beef to be labeled so that consumers can take extra precautions.

The concern behind the second rule DeLauro referenced is that solutions added to raw meat and poultry products to enhance flavor or texture may lead to higher sodium levels and changes to other aspects of nutritional content.

“Any delay in finalizing these important rules will deprive consumers of accurate information about these products so they can make informed purchasing decisions and prepare these products safely,” DeLauro wrote.

She noted that it has been over a year since the proposed mechanically tenderized beef rule was published and over three years since the proposed added solution rule was published.

“I urge you to publish and implement the final rules quickly so American consumers will no longer be left in the dark,” DeLauro wrote. “Thank you for considering the public health and economic impacts that will occur if USDA fails to implement these rules before the end of the year.”

Food Safety News

DeLauro Urges OMB to Finalize Two Food Rules

Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) is urging the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to finalize two pending food safety rules.

DeLauro wrote to OMB director Shaun Donovan Monday, expressing her concern that if the mechanically tenderized beef rule and a rule regarding added solutions in meat and poultry products are not completed before the end of the year, they will be delayed until at least 2018.

There is concern that mechanically tenderized beef products are more likely to cause foodborne illness than whole cuts if not cooked properly, so food safety advocates are calling for mechanically tenderized beef to be labeled so that consumers can take extra precautions.

The concern behind the second rule DeLauro referenced is that solutions added to raw meat and poultry products to enhance flavor or texture may lead to higher sodium levels and changes to other aspects of nutritional content.

“Any delay in finalizing these important rules will deprive consumers of accurate information about these products so they can make informed purchasing decisions and prepare these products safely,” DeLauro wrote.

She noted that it has been over a year since the proposed mechanically tenderized beef rule was published and over three years since the proposed added solution rule was published.

“I urge you to publish and implement the final rules quickly so American consumers will no longer be left in the dark,” DeLauro wrote. “Thank you for considering the public health and economic impacts that will occur if USDA fails to implement these rules before the end of the year.”

Food Safety News

DeLauro Urges OMB to Finalize Two Food Rules

Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) is urging the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to finalize two pending food safety rules.

DeLauro wrote to OMB director Shaun Donovan Monday, expressing her concern that if the mechanically tenderized beef rule and a rule regarding added solutions in meat and poultry products are not completed before the end of the year, they will be delayed until at least 2018.

There is concern that mechanically tenderized beef products are more likely to cause foodborne illness than whole cuts if not cooked properly, so food safety advocates are calling for mechanically tenderized beef to be labeled so that consumers can take extra precautions.

The concern behind the second rule DeLauro referenced is that solutions added to raw meat and poultry products to enhance flavor or texture may lead to higher sodium levels and changes to other aspects of nutritional content.

“Any delay in finalizing these important rules will deprive consumers of accurate information about these products so they can make informed purchasing decisions and prepare these products safely,” DeLauro wrote.

She noted that it has been over a year since the proposed mechanically tenderized beef rule was published and over three years since the proposed added solution rule was published.

“I urge you to publish and implement the final rules quickly so American consumers will no longer be left in the dark,” DeLauro wrote. “Thank you for considering the public health and economic impacts that will occur if USDA fails to implement these rules before the end of the year.”

Food Safety News

DeLauro Urges OMB to Finalize Two Food Rules

Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) is urging the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to finalize two pending food safety rules.

DeLauro wrote to OMB director Shaun Donovan Monday, expressing her concern that if the mechanically tenderized beef rule and a rule regarding added solutions in meat and poultry products are not completed before the end of the year, they will be delayed until at least 2018.

There is concern that mechanically tenderized beef products are more likely to cause foodborne illness than whole cuts if not cooked properly, so food safety advocates are calling for mechanically tenderized beef to be labeled so that consumers can take extra precautions.

The concern behind the second rule DeLauro referenced is that solutions added to raw meat and poultry products to enhance flavor or texture may lead to higher sodium levels and changes to other aspects of nutritional content.

“Any delay in finalizing these important rules will deprive consumers of accurate information about these products so they can make informed purchasing decisions and prepare these products safely,” DeLauro wrote.

She noted that it has been over a year since the proposed mechanically tenderized beef rule was published and over three years since the proposed added solution rule was published.

“I urge you to publish and implement the final rules quickly so American consumers will no longer be left in the dark,” DeLauro wrote. “Thank you for considering the public health and economic impacts that will occur if USDA fails to implement these rules before the end of the year.”

Food Safety News

DeLauro Urges OMB to Finalize Two Food Rules

Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) is urging the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to finalize two pending food safety rules.

DeLauro wrote to OMB director Shaun Donovan Monday, expressing her concern that if the mechanically tenderized beef rule and a rule regarding added solutions in meat and poultry products are not completed before the end of the year, they will be delayed until at least 2018.

There is concern that mechanically tenderized beef products are more likely to cause foodborne illness than whole cuts if not cooked properly, so food safety advocates are calling for mechanically tenderized beef to be labeled so that consumers can take extra precautions.

The concern behind the second rule DeLauro referenced is that solutions added to raw meat and poultry products to enhance flavor or texture may lead to higher sodium levels and changes to other aspects of nutritional content.

“Any delay in finalizing these important rules will deprive consumers of accurate information about these products so they can make informed purchasing decisions and prepare these products safely,” DeLauro wrote.

She noted that it has been over a year since the proposed mechanically tenderized beef rule was published and over three years since the proposed added solution rule was published.

“I urge you to publish and implement the final rules quickly so American consumers will no longer be left in the dark,” DeLauro wrote. “Thank you for considering the public health and economic impacts that will occur if USDA fails to implement these rules before the end of the year.”

Food Safety News

DeLauro Urges OMB to Finalize Two Food Rules

Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) is urging the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to finalize two pending food safety rules.

DeLauro wrote to OMB director Shaun Donovan Monday, expressing her concern that if the mechanically tenderized beef rule and a rule regarding added solutions in meat and poultry products are not completed before the end of the year, they will be delayed until at least 2018.

There is concern that mechanically tenderized beef products are more likely to cause foodborne illness than whole cuts if not cooked properly, so food safety advocates are calling for mechanically tenderized beef to be labeled so that consumers can take extra precautions.

The concern behind the second rule DeLauro referenced is that solutions added to raw meat and poultry products to enhance flavor or texture may lead to higher sodium levels and changes to other aspects of nutritional content.

“Any delay in finalizing these important rules will deprive consumers of accurate information about these products so they can make informed purchasing decisions and prepare these products safely,” DeLauro wrote.

She noted that it has been over a year since the proposed mechanically tenderized beef rule was published and over three years since the proposed added solution rule was published.

“I urge you to publish and implement the final rules quickly so American consumers will no longer be left in the dark,” DeLauro wrote. “Thank you for considering the public health and economic impacts that will occur if USDA fails to implement these rules before the end of the year.”

Food Safety News

DeLauro Urges OMB to Finalize Two Food Rules

Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) is urging the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to finalize two pending food safety rules.

DeLauro wrote to OMB director Shaun Donovan Monday, expressing her concern that if the mechanically tenderized beef rule and a rule regarding added solutions in meat and poultry products are not completed before the end of the year, they will be delayed until at least 2018.

There is concern that mechanically tenderized beef products are more likely to cause foodborne illness than whole cuts if not cooked properly, so food safety advocates are calling for mechanically tenderized beef to be labeled so that consumers can take extra precautions.

The concern behind the second rule DeLauro referenced is that solutions added to raw meat and poultry products to enhance flavor or texture may lead to higher sodium levels and changes to other aspects of nutritional content.

“Any delay in finalizing these important rules will deprive consumers of accurate information about these products so they can make informed purchasing decisions and prepare these products safely,” DeLauro wrote.

She noted that it has been over a year since the proposed mechanically tenderized beef rule was published and over three years since the proposed added solution rule was published.

“I urge you to publish and implement the final rules quickly so American consumers will no longer be left in the dark,” DeLauro wrote. “Thank you for considering the public health and economic impacts that will occur if USDA fails to implement these rules before the end of the year.”

Food Safety News

DeLauro Urges OMB to Finalize Two Food Rules

Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) is urging the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to finalize two pending food safety rules.

DeLauro wrote to OMB director Shaun Donovan Monday, expressing her concern that if the mechanically tenderized beef rule and a rule regarding added solutions in meat and poultry products are not completed before the end of the year, they will be delayed until at least 2018.

There is concern that mechanically tenderized beef products are more likely to cause foodborne illness than whole cuts if not cooked properly, so food safety advocates are calling for mechanically tenderized beef to be labeled so that consumers can take extra precautions.

The concern behind the second rule DeLauro referenced is that solutions added to raw meat and poultry products to enhance flavor or texture may lead to higher sodium levels and changes to other aspects of nutritional content.

“Any delay in finalizing these important rules will deprive consumers of accurate information about these products so they can make informed purchasing decisions and prepare these products safely,” DeLauro wrote.

She noted that it has been over a year since the proposed mechanically tenderized beef rule was published and over three years since the proposed added solution rule was published.

“I urge you to publish and implement the final rules quickly so American consumers will no longer be left in the dark,” DeLauro wrote. “Thank you for considering the public health and economic impacts that will occur if USDA fails to implement these rules before the end of the year.”

Food Safety News

DeLauro Urges OMB to Finalize Two Food Rules

Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) is urging the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to finalize two pending food safety rules.

DeLauro wrote to OMB director Shaun Donovan Monday, expressing her concern that if the mechanically tenderized beef rule and a rule regarding added solutions in meat and poultry products are not completed before the end of the year, they will be delayed until at least 2018.

There is concern that mechanically tenderized beef products are more likely to cause foodborne illness than whole cuts if not cooked properly, so food safety advocates are calling for mechanically tenderized beef to be labeled so that consumers can take extra precautions.

The concern behind the second rule DeLauro referenced is that solutions added to raw meat and poultry products to enhance flavor or texture may lead to higher sodium levels and changes to other aspects of nutritional content.

“Any delay in finalizing these important rules will deprive consumers of accurate information about these products so they can make informed purchasing decisions and prepare these products safely,” DeLauro wrote.

She noted that it has been over a year since the proposed mechanically tenderized beef rule was published and over three years since the proposed added solution rule was published.

“I urge you to publish and implement the final rules quickly so American consumers will no longer be left in the dark,” DeLauro wrote. “Thank you for considering the public health and economic impacts that will occur if USDA fails to implement these rules before the end of the year.”

Food Safety News

DeLauro Urges OMB to Finalize Two Food Rules

Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) is urging the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to finalize two pending food safety rules.

DeLauro wrote to OMB director Shaun Donovan Monday, expressing her concern that if the mechanically tenderized beef rule and a rule regarding added solutions in meat and poultry products are not completed before the end of the year, they will be delayed until at least 2018.

There is concern that mechanically tenderized beef products are more likely to cause foodborne illness than whole cuts if not cooked properly, so food safety advocates are calling for mechanically tenderized beef to be labeled so that consumers can take extra precautions.

The concern behind the second rule DeLauro referenced is that solutions added to raw meat and poultry products to enhance flavor or texture may lead to higher sodium levels and changes to other aspects of nutritional content.

“Any delay in finalizing these important rules will deprive consumers of accurate information about these products so they can make informed purchasing decisions and prepare these products safely,” DeLauro wrote.

She noted that it has been over a year since the proposed mechanically tenderized beef rule was published and over three years since the proposed added solution rule was published.

“I urge you to publish and implement the final rules quickly so American consumers will no longer be left in the dark,” DeLauro wrote. “Thank you for considering the public health and economic impacts that will occur if USDA fails to implement these rules before the end of the year.”

Food Safety News

DeLauro Urges OMB to Finalize Two Food Rules

Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) is urging the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to finalize two pending food safety rules.

DeLauro wrote to OMB director Shaun Donovan Monday, expressing her concern that if the mechanically tenderized beef rule and a rule regarding added solutions in meat and poultry products are not completed before the end of the year, they will be delayed until at least 2018.

There is concern that mechanically tenderized beef products are more likely to cause foodborne illness than whole cuts if not cooked properly, so food safety advocates are calling for mechanically tenderized beef to be labeled so that consumers can take extra precautions.

The concern behind the second rule DeLauro referenced is that solutions added to raw meat and poultry products to enhance flavor or texture may lead to higher sodium levels and changes to other aspects of nutritional content.

“Any delay in finalizing these important rules will deprive consumers of accurate information about these products so they can make informed purchasing decisions and prepare these products safely,” DeLauro wrote.

She noted that it has been over a year since the proposed mechanically tenderized beef rule was published and over three years since the proposed added solution rule was published.

“I urge you to publish and implement the final rules quickly so American consumers will no longer be left in the dark,” DeLauro wrote. “Thank you for considering the public health and economic impacts that will occur if USDA fails to implement these rules before the end of the year.”

Food Safety News

DeLauro Urges OMB to Finalize Two Food Rules

Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) is urging the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to finalize two pending food safety rules.

DeLauro wrote to OMB director Shaun Donovan Monday, expressing her concern that if the mechanically tenderized beef rule and a rule regarding added solutions in meat and poultry products are not completed before the end of the year, they will be delayed until at least 2018.

There is concern that mechanically tenderized beef products are more likely to cause foodborne illness than whole cuts if not cooked properly, so food safety advocates are calling for mechanically tenderized beef to be labeled so that consumers can take extra precautions.

The concern behind the second rule DeLauro referenced is that solutions added to raw meat and poultry products to enhance flavor or texture may lead to higher sodium levels and changes to other aspects of nutritional content.

“Any delay in finalizing these important rules will deprive consumers of accurate information about these products so they can make informed purchasing decisions and prepare these products safely,” DeLauro wrote.

She noted that it has been over a year since the proposed mechanically tenderized beef rule was published and over three years since the proposed added solution rule was published.

“I urge you to publish and implement the final rules quickly so American consumers will no longer be left in the dark,” DeLauro wrote. “Thank you for considering the public health and economic impacts that will occur if USDA fails to implement these rules before the end of the year.”

Food Safety News

DeLauro Urges OMB to Finalize Two Food Rules

Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) is urging the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to finalize two pending food safety rules.

DeLauro wrote to OMB director Shaun Donovan Monday, expressing her concern that if the mechanically tenderized beef rule and a rule regarding added solutions in meat and poultry products are not completed before the end of the year, they will be delayed until at least 2018.

There is concern that mechanically tenderized beef products are more likely to cause foodborne illness than whole cuts if not cooked properly, so food safety advocates are calling for mechanically tenderized beef to be labeled so that consumers can take extra precautions.

The concern behind the second rule DeLauro referenced is that solutions added to raw meat and poultry products to enhance flavor or texture may lead to higher sodium levels and changes to other aspects of nutritional content.

“Any delay in finalizing these important rules will deprive consumers of accurate information about these products so they can make informed purchasing decisions and prepare these products safely,” DeLauro wrote.

She noted that it has been over a year since the proposed mechanically tenderized beef rule was published and over three years since the proposed added solution rule was published.

“I urge you to publish and implement the final rules quickly so American consumers will no longer be left in the dark,” DeLauro wrote. “Thank you for considering the public health and economic impacts that will occur if USDA fails to implement these rules before the end of the year.”

Food Safety News

DeLauro Urges OMB to Finalize Two Food Rules

Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) is urging the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to finalize two pending food safety rules.

DeLauro wrote to OMB director Shaun Donovan Monday, expressing her concern that if the mechanically tenderized beef rule and a rule regarding added solutions in meat and poultry products are not completed before the end of the year, they will be delayed until at least 2018.

There is concern that mechanically tenderized beef products are more likely to cause foodborne illness than whole cuts if not cooked properly, so food safety advocates are calling for mechanically tenderized beef to be labeled so that consumers can take extra precautions.

The concern behind the second rule DeLauro referenced is that solutions added to raw meat and poultry products to enhance flavor or texture may lead to higher sodium levels and changes to other aspects of nutritional content.

“Any delay in finalizing these important rules will deprive consumers of accurate information about these products so they can make informed purchasing decisions and prepare these products safely,” DeLauro wrote.

She noted that it has been over a year since the proposed mechanically tenderized beef rule was published and over three years since the proposed added solution rule was published.

“I urge you to publish and implement the final rules quickly so American consumers will no longer be left in the dark,” DeLauro wrote. “Thank you for considering the public health and economic impacts that will occur if USDA fails to implement these rules before the end of the year.”

Food Safety News

Zespri Chairman urges growers not to Kiwifruit Claim

Zespri Chairman urges growers not to Kiwifruit Claim

“I have written to growers today, as Chairman of Zespri, to say I do not support or agree with the approach taken by the group behind ‘The Kiwifruit Claim’,” stated Chairman of Zespri, Peter McBride.

He said the Statement of Claim is not even available yet for review. The architects of ‘The Kiwifruit Claim’ are seeking to sign up growers to a class action before they have had the opportunity to properly consider the legal merits of the claim and before the Statement of Claim has been filed. “I am extremely concerned that ‘The Kiwifruit Claim’ lacks transparency and fails to properly communicate the uncertainties surrounding the claim. Zespri completely rejects this approach, and believes that the profit which would be made by the litigation funder if the claim is successful reflects the high risk of the claim failing.”

He adds that this campaign has been launched through the media with no consultation with the industry.

“Psa caused immense damage to businesses and people, including myself. At its height it devastated peoples’ incomes, their assets, their savings, their life’s work and their self-esteem. It put immense pressure on people and families on orchards and in the wider community. But as an industry we’re well into the recovery from Psa and are firmly on a growth path.”

Orchard Gate Returns are strong and orchard land prices have not only recovered from the effects of Psa but are now higher than pre-Psa levels. Zespri is back on track to deliver on its plan to triple revenue to $ 3 Billion by 2025, and will continue to make increasing grower returns its number one priority.

“The last thing this industry needs right now is for the focus to be taken from growing our industry, and placed on a divisive, drawn out, and hugely expensive legal battle, especially given the poor process followed by ‘The Kiwifruit Claim’ and the uncertain legal basis of the case,” he continues.

“I believe that the industry will prosper by working with the Government, not against it. The industry is working collaboratively on a number of initiatives, such as the Government Industry Agreements, Research and Development, market access, free trade agreements, and Kiwifruit Vine Health, to protect and grow our industry.”

“Biosecurity is critical to our industry’s success, and I believe the best way to strengthen this system is to learn from experience and to work in partnership with the government. That is why the kiwifruit industry was the first to sign up to a Government-Industry Agreement on Biosecurity, and has an industry body set up to specifically focus on improving biosecurity outcomes.”

“Successive Governments have been an important partner to our industry. Our industry structure is a privilege granted to us by Government and creates huge value to New Zealand kiwifruit growers. This action will compromise the industry’s relationship with government.”

“Ultimately it is not Zespri’s place to tell growers whether they should sign up to this claim or not, that is entirely their decision. However growers at the very least deserve the people behind ‘The Kiwifruit Claim’ to be completely transparent about the risks – political, legal and financial – associated with this claim.”

Publication date: 10/2/2014


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