Levy vote success for Summerfruit NZ
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.