Commodity Levy Referendum 2018
In July this year we will be calling on all commercial fresh tomato growers to vote in a commodity levy referendum which will provide ongoing funding for TomatoesNZ' s activities.
Referendums are held every six years and it is your opportunity to show your support for the work we do on behalf of the fresh tomato sector. We will also be asked to vote to support the broader fruit and vegetable industrywide work done by Horticulture New Zealand in its levy referendum which will happen at the same time.
The Commodity Levies (Vegetables and Fruit) Order 2013, which includes the fresh tomato levy, other vegetable product group levies, and the levy funding Horticulture New Zealand, expires in May 2019. To ensure we have funding in the future we need to submit an application to the Ministry for Primary Industries for a new commodity levy order by September 2018.
Voting on the new levy proposal is expected to open on July 1 and run for six weeks.
As advised before to our annual general meeting last year, TomatoesNZ is proposing that the new fresh tomato commodity levy will initially be 0.35% (35 cents per $100 of sales), which is the same as the current levy rate, and the maximum levy rate will be raised to 0.50% (50 cents per $100 of sales) of value at the first point of sale (for domestic sales) or Free on Board for exports. Raising the maximum rate from the current 0.35% to 0.50% will bring it closer to where it was previously (a maximum of 0.525% under the 2007 levy order). The reason for the proposed increase to the levy is to provide TomatoesNZ with increased funding, should it be required, to invest in areas such as research and development, advocacy and risk management. The rate would only move up from 0.35% by vote at an annual general meeting, so everyone will be kept informed along with having a say on this, should it be required.
Further information detailing the levy proposal and referendum process will be posted to growers and included on the TomatoesNZ website in April.
We would be pleased to hear tomato growers’ thoughts on our current and future work and on the levy proposal at any time. Please get in touch with Karen Orr, email@example.com or Helen Barnes, helen.barnes@hortnz. co.nz, Freephone 0508 467 869; or any members of the TomatoesNZ board (listed on tomatoesnz.co.nz/about/ board/).
Greenhouse surveys still open
You may have noticed we’ve started the year with a renewed emphasis on gathering current information with two surveys sent out by email recently. Thank you to those who have already completed the surveys. We know this is an extremely busy time of the year and really appreciate you taking the time to complete them. If you haven’t received them it may be because we do not have a current email address for you. Please contact Karen Orr at TomatoesNZ to receive the surveys: Karen.firstname.lastname@example.org or 04-494 9984.
The first survey sent before Christmas is on biosecurity and it’s aimed at gathering benchmarking information on biosecurity practices that tomato growers currently have in place, and gain an understanding on how growers prefer to receive future information on biosecurity.
The second survey is on greenhouse energy use and waste in covered vegetable crops. With the current government focus on carbon and climate change we feel it is very necessary to have the most up-to-date data to front-foot submissions and advocacy in this area.
We will close the surveys on February 28. If you have any questions or concerns about the surveys please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.
Business Manager TomatoesNZ Inc.