Apple prices take hit over certification

By Patrick O'Sullivan

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A shipment of Hawke's Bay apples held up by Russian border authorities for 11 days in March probably lost value, says Pipfruit New Zealand CEO Alan Pollard.

Last week it was revealed that Chinese officials were blocking New Zealand beef and sheep meat imports because of a name change on export certification. Government officials were expected to fly to China last night with replacement health certificates.

"Accurately certifying exports of New Zealand agricultural goods is a core function for the Ministry and this mistake should never have occurred," Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy said.

Mr Pollard said it was a similar issue with the apples.

"There was confusion over the rebranding from Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries to Ministry of Primary Industries," Mr Pollard said.

"It certainly had an impact on the time to market - the problem with our produce is it is not refrigerated like the meat side is, so there is a risk of degradation.

"It would have had a bit of an impact on market prices and there were a few extra costs incurred."

He said about 100 containers of Hawke's Bay apples were affected..

- Hawkes Bay Today

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