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Nelson Evening Mail TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 2, 1913. THE FRUIT INDUSTRY.

THE forthcoming conference of Dominion fruitgrowers to be held in Wellington, should be the most important meeting yet held in connection with the fruit industry. At this conference will be considered the very far-reaching question of an export tax on fruit, for the purpose of providing funds for the proper working of the Dominion Executive. The proposal is for a farthing tax to be placed on every case of fruit sent out. At the present time such a tax would provide about £IOOO, and this would give the head body something to work with. At the present tnre haphazard methods prevail; growers, for the most part, are in open competition with their neighbours ; and thcconsequence is that all suffer, and the industry therefore docs not progress at the rapid rate it should progress. Wliat is required is for growers to realise that their interests are identical, that there are great markets waiting to be exploited, and that something must be done to ensure that the ever-increasing output will be successfully disposed of.

One of the most level-headed men in the fruit industry in this district is Mr R. P. Hudson, of jMotueka. He lias brought to the study of local conditions a wide experience of marketing products gained as chairman of tnat wellknown body, the Ccvlon Tea Planters Association. It is interesting to note that when he went to Ceylon to engage in. the industry, growers there, were in practically the same predicament, in exactly the same unsatisfactory conditions, that fruitgrowers are in in New Zealand at the present time. Each man was the sworn enemy of his neighbour, and the result was that the time and money wasted in this useless conflict was a serious drag on the industry as a whole. But as time went on, growers began to realise that their interests were identical, and they joined together to export their teas to the far corners of the earth. The method adopted was a tax similar to the one' now proposed 011 fruit, and it was felt, no tnoro by the growers there than the one in question will be felt here. But it provided a sum for the proper working of the export business. It was agreed that the proceeds of the tax should be utilised exclusively ior pushing" Ceylon tea by means, of advertising and exploiting new markets. Each year as these methods brought in new orders, the trade extended, and more iivonev was available for further advertising, wliich again had a greater result, and so on. The consequence was th.it in a very few 'years the industry was firmly established 011 a world-wide basis.

| Now the suggestion made is the placing of the fruit industry on a somewhat similar basis. It is, of course, the merest folly for fruitgrowers to endeavour to do without the middleman altogether. He is essential as a connecting link between producer and coiisliiiier. Kis business is one rcquiring e special training and special facilities, alid it is as absurb for the frutgrowers to endeavour, to carry on his business as it would be for the middleman to enter into fruitgrowing. But at the same time, there are many ways by which waste can be eliminated, where the growers can combine with good opportunities for furthering their own interests. The placing of the Dominion executive on a- firm and satisfactory business basis would enable growers to feel sure that they were getting the be3t prices possible for their fruit. And when new markets are opened up and risks run, it- is not fair that a few should suffer for the ultimate good of the many, and so a portion of the proceeds of the tax would be devoted- to guaranteeing growers against total loss in trial shipments. There is a great future before the industry, and if growers are wise they will make the most of that- future. This can be done only by adopting sound business methods, «and ensuring for growers the best market prices for their fruit.

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Bibliographic details

Nelson Evening Mail TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 2, 1913. THE FRUIT INDUSTRY., Nelson Evening Mail, Volume XLVIII, Issue XLVIII, 2 September 1913

Word Count
679

Nelson Evening Mail TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 2, 1913. THE FRUIT INDUSTRY. Nelson Evening Mail, Volume XLVIII, Issue XLVIII, 2 September 1913

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