Wellington, July 22 NZPA - Produce company Turners & Growers is taking legal action against Zespri, challenging the kiwifruit exporter's near-monopoly status.
Turners & Growers -- majority-owned by Guinness Peat Group -- yesterday filed proceedings in the High Court at Auckland.
They claimed Zespri had abused its dominant position and that the Kiwifruit Export Regulations 1999 were unlawful because they were inconsistent with the Commerce Act, and with the Bill of Rights Act 1990, the New Zealand Herald reported.
Zespri, which holds its annual general meeting in Tauranga today, is owned by 2700 kiwifruit growers.
The Dominion Post reported Zespri marketing boss Carol Ward saying Turners & Growers statement of claim would be considered in detail by legal advisers.
An initial analysis suggested it was "entirely without merit, containing wilfully false allegations about the company, its growers, the industry and the regulations under which they operate".
Compare Credit Cards - Independent interest rate and fees comparisons for New Zealand banks.