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Hawke’s Bay Growers Relieved As Plants Released

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Growers caught up in a biosecurity storm say they feel “vindicated” after the Ministry for Primary Industries confirmed thousands of imported plants did not pose a risk after all.

MPI seized tens of thousands of apple and stonefruit (peach, plum and nectarine) plants in March, following an MPI audit which found a number of significant failures at Clean Plant Centre Northwest in the United States.

Five parties, including four Hawke’s Bay growers and nurseries, launched a High Court review of the action, which the industry said would have resulted in up to $1 billion in losses.

However, MPI director of plant and pathways Pete Thomson confirmed about 20,000 apple plants and 400 stonefruit plants imported from a US testing facility had now been released from all restrictions.

Photo:  The Yummy Fruit Company general manager Paul Paynter was pleased with the decision. Photo / Warren Buckland

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Posted: 28 September 2018

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