Voting is now open in the 2019 Summerfruit Commodity Levy renewal referendum.
Growers will receive voting information from Electionz the independent election management company who will be the Returning Officer and manage the referendum. Growers will get both printed and electronic voting options.
Keep an eye out for an email from Electionz on the 16th October and the printed papers which were posted on the 15th October so should arrive within 3 to 5 days.
We encourage all growers to vote and to do so online where possible to avoid any possible delays with postal returns. Any votes being returned by post will need to be with NZ Post by 28th October.
Click on the Summerfruit Commodity Levy logo on this page or on the front page of the Summerfruit NZ website to go straight to the online voting system.
If you require assistance with logging onto the online voting site or the voting process please call the toll free Electionz helpline 0800 666 032.
The ballot will run to midday Friday 8 November with the results being available within a few days of the vote closing. Results of the ballot will be published on the Summerfruit NZ website and the next issue of Prunings following closing of voting.
If you have any queries about the proposed Summerfruit Commodity Levy Order please contact Marie Dawkins (021 460 200) or email@example.com
The process so far:
Over the last few weeks we’ve held two rounds of consultation meetings with growers in the regions. There were good turnouts to the meetings in Blenheim, Hawkes Bay, Cromwell, Alexandra and Roxburgh.
The first round of discussions gave growers an opportunity to discuss topics including:
- different ways to calculate the levy
- the current maximum levy rate (which Summerfruit NZ proposes to retain)
- the addition of a process levy rate and setting a cap on the maximum levy individual growers may pay in a levy year
- process and organisational issues such as what happens if the levy referendum fails, new industry member rights, aligning AGM voting rights to levy calculation method and suggestions for the independent industry review.
The second round of meetings discussed the outcomes of the first round including the material which has been available for review on the levy area on our website. There were no new issues raised in the second round discussions. The growers were also updated on the next steps in the referendum process.
There was good robust discussion at all of the meetings in both rounds, particularly on the levy collection method. At the end of the consultations we had met with 99 stakeholders, many of them more than once, only two orchards were supportive of a change to a per hectare calculation method and one orchard was supportive of a change to a per kiliogram calculation method.
The wider group supported the status quo, therefore no change is proposed to the levy calculation method or the addition of a cap on levies.
Are there any proposed changes to the levy order?
Summerfruit NZ does not propose any major changes. There will be no change to the current levy rates or the method of calculation.
Minor changes proposed include:
- Broadening the definition of processing and clarifying the definition of notional process value.
- Adding biosecurity to the list of levy-funded Summerfruit NZ activities to reflect industry developments.
- Introducing a separate levy rate for processing.
- Specifying timelines for providing information required by Summerfruit NZ.
If you are left with any questions or you’re not sure about some of the information you’re hearing, give our Chairman Tim Jones a call (027 221 9378) or call our Chief Executive Marie Dawkins (021 460 200).