New Zealand kiwifruit marketer Zespri has taken on a QC in response to legal action started against it by rival grower, exporter and distributor Turners & Growers (T&G), according to the New Zealand Herald.
T&G has called upon the New Zealand government to deregulate the NZ$1.2bn (€570m) kiwifruit export industry. It cites abuses of market power, lost opportunities and the potential loss of millions of dollars of investments in research and development.
T&G has also filed proceedings in the High Court in Auckland accusing Zespri of beaching its regulations and the Commerce Act, the New Zealand Herald reported.
Zespri currently has the statutory right to export all New Zealand kiwifruit, except to Australia.
T&G is reportedly stepping up its efforts to get hold of two confidential industry reports, one a 2006 report by Grant Samuel reviewing Zespri’s margin and the other a 2007 independent survey of growers commissioned by Zespri.
The next stage of the dispute is a legal conference scheduled for 24 September.