Friday, 26 April 2024 17:37

HortNZ levy vote referendum looms

Written by  Sudesh Kissun
A copy of HortNZ’s levy proposal will be mailed to farmers next week. A copy of HortNZ’s levy proposal will be mailed to farmers next week.

The country’s 4200 commercial fruit and vegetable growers will vote from May 14 on a new HortNZ levy.

A copy of HortNZ’s levy proposal will be mailed to farmers next week. The proposal will be discussed at online grower meetings- dates and times are to be advised.

A referendum of growers will be held from midnight, Tuesday 14 May to midday, Friday 14 June 2024. Voting packs will be sent to growers in May.

HortNZ is telling growers that voting in the upcoming referendum is important. Currently growers pay a levy of 0.14% with a maximum levy of 0.15%.

“It’s important that you vote because the levy must be supported by more than half the participants in the referendum, representing more than half the value of total production,” it says.

“A yes majority vote will mean HortNZ continues to promote and protect your interests in an everchanging environment. A no majority vote will mean an end to HortNZ - the organisation would be wound up, there would no longer be an advocacy body dedicated to working on behalf of growers.

“Events such as Young Grower of the Year and programmes such as Growing Change will end. The sector will lose capability and vital relationships.”

HortNZ represents the interests of commercial fruit and vegetable growers in New Zealand who grow around 100 different fruits and vegetables. The sector provides over 40,000 jobs. There are 80,000 hectares of land in New Zealand producing fruit and vegetables for domestic consumers and supplying our global trading partners with high quality food.

According to latest Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) figures, the industry’s total exports reached $4.67 billion while domestic sales topped $2.81bn.

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