[2 February/ Radio New Zealand]

Buyers for the Ribena brand have decided not to renew contracts with New Zealand blackcurrant growers.  It is expected that this will have a big effect on the industry. They had previously taken more than half of New Zealand’s 8000 tonne crop. Blackcurrant industry consultant Mike Callagher said it was something of a shock, or a surprise at least.  However, he still believes there is hope that Ribena will continue purchasing New Zealand blackcurrants in the future. Mr Callagher added that the industry remained optimistic through this, and many growers are trying to find new markets for their crops. Ribena will continue to be made from 100 percent New Zealand blackcurrants according to Frucor Suntory.