New Zealand organic apple grower, Bostock, continues to supply apples to Russia. This is upsetting other growers, who have ceased exports in response to president Putin’s decision to invade Ukraine. The owner of the multi-million dollar Hawke's Bay operation, John Bostock, confirmed the company is shipping containers of apples to Russia. However, according to Bostock, the move is under review. Bostock and his company’s marketing and communications manager, Catherine Wedd, refused to answer further questions.
According to industry sources, Bostock's move has caused enormous frustration among other growers and exporters who have stopped trading with Russia after its invasion of Ukraine. It is not illegal to send food products to Russia under the new sanctions regime but many companies, including apple exporters, have pulled out at a substantial cost to their business.
Parliament passed the Russia Sanctions Bill in mid-March, which includes 35 percent tariffs on all Russian imports, a ban on the export of industrial products such as ICT equipment and engines, as well as asset freezes and travel bans on individuals linked to Putin, and bans on financial dealings with Russia.
At that time, pome fruit industry group New Zealand Apple and Pears Inc sent a memo to members pointing out that it was not illegal to send apples to Russia, but warning them there were greater risks with shipping and payment due to the international sanctions.