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.

NZ Grower - - Future Focus -

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, or He­len Barnes, he­len.barnes@hortnz., Freep­hone 0508 467 869; or any mem­bers of the To­ma­toesNZ board (listed on to­ma­ 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: 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.

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