Horticulture New Zealand believes the serious allegations made by MP Shane Jones regarding supermarket chain Countdown need to be investigated by the Commerce Commission.
HortNZ has not been told by any of its 5500 commercial fruit and vegetable grower members of any instances of the practices Mr Jones described in Parliament yesterday.
“”But we would be extremely concerned if any of our growers had been treated like that,” HortNZ chief executive Peter Silcock says.
HortNZ knows the relationship between the major food retailers and their grower suppliers can be challenging.
“It is not always comfortable, but the allegations made by Mr Jones go way beyond a robust commercial relationship.
“These allegations need to be investigated by someone independent, like the Commerce Commission, and it needs to be done quickly.
“When you are a grower supplying a major customer you have to respond to their demands.
“But if their customers are engaging in practices that are illegal in this country, then that needs to be sorted out quickly,” Peter says.