New Zealand Kiwifruit Growers Inc. (NZKGI) have been given a strong mandate by kiwifruit growers to work on their behalf for the next six-year kiwifruit levy cycle. 85% of growers participating in the referendum voted to continue levy.
“The positive result is a great endorsement for our work over the last six years. It is especially pleasing to improve on our voter turnout given the last referendum took place when many growers were very engaged in the kiwifruit industry due to the outbreak of Psa”, says NZKGI Chairperson, Doug Brown. “The kiwifruit industry is experiencing a real growth phase and has an exciting future. NZKGI will be there to make sure that growers interests remain the top priority”.
NZKGI CEO Nikki Johnson says, “Naturally we are very delighted with the positive response from growers and I am privileged to lead an organisation that is going from strength to strength in its advocacy. Nevertheless, there will be challenges for the sector and I encourage all growers to engage with their representatives to make sure that NZKGI is focusing on issues important to them”.
Kiwifruit growers first voted to establish a kiwifruit commodity levy to fund the operation of NZKGI in 2011. Since that time, it has achieved a series of significant outcomes for growers such as the Kiwifruit Industry Strategy Project which includes ensuring that Zespri achieves long-term market, strategic and financial performance for the industry. The levy will be used to continue to fund the operations of NZKGI and in addition, there will be significant new activity in the areas of communications and performance monitoring. The levy is set at 1c/tray ($0.0028/kg) and can only be increased by vote at a NZKGI AGM or Special General Meeting.
NZKGI has informed the Minister for Primary Industries, Hon Nathan Guy of the result and will be applying to the Minister’s office for a new levy order that would run through to 2024.
|Percent of eligible growers who voted||42%||49%|
|Voters who voted YES||87%||85%|
|Percent of eligible production of growers who voted||53%||63%|
|Percentage of production from growers voting YES||85%||88%|
The Kiwifruit Commodity Levy Order is the funding mechanism for NZKGI and needs to be renewed in 2017. In December of 2016, all growers received a document outlining what the levy proposal is about so that you could provide us with any feedback that you may have.
Following consultation with growers, voting on the Commodity Referendum ran from 24 February until midday on 17 March. The proposed levy is to continue to fund the activities of NZKGI.
The Minister for Primary Industries will need to see a clear indication of grower support in order to approve a new levy order that will enable this important funding for our industry to continue.
NZKGI wishes to advise kiwifruit growers of the levy rate for the year 1 January 2017 to 31 December 2017.
Pursuant to section 16 of the Commodity Levies (Kiwifruit) Order 2012, all kiwifruit growers are advised that following approval by grower vote at the 2016 AGM, the levy rate for the year 1 January 2017 to 31 December 2017 will increase to 1 cent per tray (0.28 cents per kilogram). The levy order requires compulsory levies to be collected and paid on all kiwifruit grown in New Zealand that is exported to any place other than Australia.
Please note that this levy rate increase is occurring under the current levy order which expires in early 2018. It is separate to the future levy proposal which NZKGI is currently consulting with growers on.
If you have any questions, please contact NZKGI, PO Box 4246, Mount Maunganui, New Zealand. Telephone: (07) 574 7139. Email: email@example.com.