Grower sectors could take some lessons from Zespri’s creation and marketing of a PSA-resistant kiwifruit variety and likewise turn their industries around, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says.
“The research and plant breeding programme developed a replacement variety for the highly affected Hort16A kiwifruit. At this stage, Gold3 appears resistant to the PSA virus.
“The marketing and promotion of Gold kiwifruit has created substantial demand and the projected high returns for growers have generated much-needed investment.
“Having faced the huge and potentially disastrous challenge of PSA, the kiwifruit industry has come through with flying colours and shown the value of co-operation, unity and focus.
“This is a timely reminder to all primary industry sectors of the importance of brand promotion.
“Other grower sectors, across horticulture through to meat and dairy, need to take note of Zespri’s strategy. It has delivered the highest per hectare returns of any large scale primary sector.
“The lack of leadership from the National Government in the meat sector has left dry stock farmers floundering. Multiple players in the industry and dysfunctional competition have destroyed potential product value at every level of the supply chain.
“It was a Labour government that stepped in and provided the leadership to reform the kiwifruit industry when needed. The next Labour Government will do the same for the meat industry,” Damien O’Connor says.