Levy vote suc­cess for Sum­mer­fruit NZ

The Orchardist - - Contents -

Sum­mer­fruit New Zealand has re­ceived the grower sup­port it was look­ing for to con­tinue levy fund­ing for another six years. The fi­nal com­mod­ity levy vote re­sults show that 94 grow­ers (82.46%) voted yes and 20 grow­ers (17.54%) voted no to re­new the levy which was last re­newed in 2008.

The value of the in­dus­try par­tic­i­pat­ing in the vote was $57 mil­lion which amounts to about 70% of the to­tal in­dus­try value. Chief ex­ec­u­tive Marie Dawkins wel­comed the re­sult and was very pleased that grow­ers had made the ef­fort to vote dur­ing a busy time for them at the start of the sum­mer­fruit sea­son.

“To find out that nearly 35% of el­i­gi­ble vot­ers were able to make the time to vote is a great re­sult,’ she says.

Ms Dawkins at­trib­uted the pos­i­tive re­sult in part due to con­sult­ing with grow­ers since May, with chair­man Gary Ben­netts and vice-chair­man Tim Jones tour­ing the coun­try with her to meet with grow­ers on their prop­er­ties.

“With the clear man­date we’ve re­ceived, we can pro­ceed with our plans for the fu­ture with cer­tainty.”

“Our de­ter­mi­na­tion to catch up with grow­ers face-to-face has been par­tic­u­larly re­ward­ing in terms of the com­mod­ity levy re­sult and all the feed­back that we re­ceived di­rectly. We were able to get a real sense of what mat­ters to them and now, with the clear man­date we’ve re­ceived, we can pro­ceed with our plans for the fu­ture with cer­tainty.” It is ex­pected that by hold­ing the suc­cess­ful bal­lot in Novem­ber, there will be enough time for the Min­is­ter to ap­prove a new levy for the 2014-15 sea­son.

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