23rd April 2021 By Staff Reporter | email@example.com | @foodtickernz
The dumping of surplus frozen fries in New Zealand is not a threat to the country’s potato industry, according to a draft government report into the activity.
The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment launched the investigation in November last year after Potatoes New Zealand raised concerns about a rise in imports from Belgium and Netherlands. PNZ said then that the low prices being offered for the chips were undercutting local producers.
MBIE said it found a spike in imports from both countries in June and July last year and that one company, Dutch firm Lamb Weston, was dumping product.
However, even though the dumping would likely continue because of oversupply in the European market due to the impacts of Covid-19, it would not present a threat of material injury to New Zealand growers and processors.
MBIE said its investigation was ongoing and a final decision had yet been made although it appeared likely it would advise the minister responsible to end the inquiry.
PNZ said the findings were “frustrating” but it would review the report and consult its members on its next steps.
Chief executive Chris Claridge told RNZ that he did not agree that the dumping did not present a threat to local industry.
“Our contention has been the potential risk and that’s what we’re acting on,” he said.
“We saw a sharp, significant increase in frozen fry imports and we saw processors not issuing contracts to growers because they were worried about the marketplace being un-economic for them to operate in.”
Submissions on the inquiry can be made until 30 April.