Corporate management and investors at Enza have failed to appeal yesterday’s High Court decision to lift an interim injunction on the pipfruit industry’s export permits committee, which dictates the players in the NZ$630m export industry. Enza had placed the injunction two weeks ago when it deemed the committee’s activities to be contrary to its brief of approving permits only if they are complementary to Enza and do not undermine Enza marketing.
Controlling over 90% of the nation’s pipfruit crop, Enza became a company in April and has been the subject of countless disagreements ever since. Two “corporate” investors with a stake of nearly 40% largely control the regulated Enza, and have angered growers already struggling against poor returns because of the world fruit glut.
Since the injunction on the export permit committee two weeks ago, dozens of approved permits, and those awaiting approval, have been frozen as the case progressed, creating an embittered standoff between growers and Enza.
The national exporter was given until 10am this morning (19 December) to counter the judgement at Wellington, which saw the government support the processes of the committee and argue that Enza’s injunction went against new industry regulations.
Agricultural minister Jim Sutton commented that the important step now was that growers are appeased and their confidence renewed with new supply contracts. So far, however, Pipfruit Growers New Zealand Incorporated, which represents 1500 registered growers, has failed to agree on the contract draft with Enza.