New Zealand fruit growers have been going to extraordinary lengths to circumvent the statutory export monopoly controlled, and closely guarded, by Enza. Many are attempting to prove that their apples are so different from Enza’s own produce that they deserve a separate export permit. Among these are offerings such as the kosher, the tongan and now the Maori and the halal apple.

The export consents council received an application for the exportation of Maori apples two weeks ago from Wi Huata, the director of Aotearoa Horticulture, a bid that enjoyed the backing of the Maori Affairs Minister. A decision is yet to be received, however.

The latest innovative attempt at gaining independent export certification has come from Sam Newbigin, a meat exporter from Hawke’s Bay. He argues that despite the fact that all fruit is halal by definition, his apples are especially halal because of the specially certified waxes and wrapping paper used. So far his company, Fern Ridge Marketing, has been denied a certificate to export 40,000 cartoons to Germany and Austrian Muslim communities, however, on the grounds that they would complete with Enza’s produce.

Meanwhile, others have been able to convince the authorities that their apples complement rather than compete with Enza’s range.

Danny Freilich convinced the authorities that due to his careful choice of waxes and sprays, his apples were kosher enough to warrant a separate export permit and in March 1999, Gavin Peacock tried to use a loophole in the law to allow him to export three cartons without permission, but Enza threatened legal action.