Legally Ranting

NZ apples to finally enter Aussie shores

Posted in International Law, International Trade by legalrants on December 28, 2010

Not that I’m a big fan of le pomme, but I never did realise that there was a 90 year old law barring NZ apples being sold in Australia. Apparently, the Aussie govt banned the import of NZ apples in 1921 due to fear of risk of fireblight.

In August 2010, the World Trade Organisation (WTO) ruled that the ban on NZ apple imports was illegal because there was simply no credible scientific evidence that vindicates Aussie paranoia — even if infected NZ apples were imported into Australia, it is highly unlikely to affect apple orchards in Australia. In November 2010, the WTO rejected Australia’s appeal on the ruling effectively paving the way for NZ apples to enter the Aussie market.

Like I said, bad apples or not, I don’t really care — but the reaction from Aussie farmers was overall, very negative. The sentiment appears to be the same old story of fear of fire blight infection, affecting their harvests and reputation etc etc. However, underlying these irrational fears is certainly all about trade and market access.

Currently, the price of apples in Australia is between $2/kilo to $6/kilo, depending on where you buy them (tip: don’t buy your fruits and veggies from the supermarkets, you can get them at 1/3 of the price in smaller wet markets). It would be interesting to see what the price range of NZ apples would be once they start entering the Aussie market.

I certainly hope that the Aussie govt would hold true to the ANZAC spirit and promptly remove all trade barriers to NZ apples.