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Mexico lifts tariff on kiwi fruit exports

Mexico’s decision to lift its 20 per cent tariff on kiwi fruit exports has been welcomed by growers, who say New Zealand was at a significant disadvantage by the ban.

New Zealand’s Minister of Trade, Tim Groser, told TVNZ the elimination of the tariff was the result of two years of discussions between the two nations.

Mexican Secretary of Economy, Bruno Ferrari, made the announcement on the removal of the ban this week.

Groser said New Zealand will be back on a level playing field with competitors, after being significantly disadvantaged over the last couple of years.

"This has been a tough time for New Zealand growers as they grapple with the effects of PSA on production and this is a little bit of good news for the,” he told TVNZ.”

Groser said the industry will gain an immediate saving of $1 million a year when export starts again, and will open up expansion of the market.
The decision has been welcomed by growers and exporters alike, with the world’s largest exporter of the fruit, Zespri, saying the lift on the ban has come at the perfect time.

It will travel to the state of Jalisco this month to discuss potential establishment of kiwifruit production.

"There is real potential for Mexico to establish a high-quality and viable kiwifruit industry in conjunction with New Zealand that could yield benefits to both countries well into the future," said Ferrari.

Growers in New Zealand are already under pressure from lower crop volumes as a result of the PSA disease, a bacterial canker of kiwi fruit caused by Pseudomonas syringae pv. Actinidiae.

“Symptoms are usually expressed during spring and autumn when climatic conditions are favourable ie cool temperatures, persistent rains and high humidity.

"Psa is temperature sensitive and active between 10 to 20 degrees but limited by temperatures over 25 degrees,” Biosecurity New Zealand states.

“The disease can be spread via windborne pollen, strong winds, heavy rainfalls, animals and humans.

“The bacterium infects the plant through natural aperatures (stomata and leaf axis) and wounds.”

“Psa symptoms include angular spots often associated with a halo although not all leaf spots clearly exhibit the halo, brown discolouration of buds and exudation of red-rusty gum although not all symptoms appear at the same time.”

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