Renewing our commodity levy

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The result of the 2019 levy referendum indicated that summerfruit growers voted overwhelmingly in support of renewing the summerfruit Commodity Levy. 

Voting closed on Friday, 8 November 2019 and independent returning officer Electionz advised the results of the referendum. 

Voters were asked to indicate if they supported continuation of the levy. 

 

Votes

Weighted votes*

Yes

84%

70%

No

16%

30%

 

‘This outcome is a strong and welcome endorsement of Summerfruit NZ and the work we have done over the last 25 years,’ says Tim Jones, chairman of Summerfruit NZ. ‘We have worked very hard to create a profitable and sustainable industry for our growers and this outcome shows that they appreciate what we’ve done and what they know we can achieve in the future. We could not have hoped for a better outcome.’ 

The Minister of Agriculture is being asked to grant a new Commodity Levy Order, which Summerfruit NZ hopes to have in place before the start of the 2020-21 summerfruit season. 

Over the course of the referendum 53% of eligible growers voted. 

‘Our voter turnout was higher than we have recorded before and was also higher than most other primary sector groups have achieved over the last couple of years. This reflects the level of engagement we have with our growers,’ Tim says. 'We'd like to thank all growers for their participation in the referendum.'

The outcome means no change to maximum levy rates or to the levy collection method. 

* Each grower is required to pay a levy based on the value of the fruit they sell – the same method used to weight votes in the referendum ballot. Independent election management company Electionz Ltd managed the referendum, which included 'sense-checking' weighted data and following up with some growers to assure the accuracy of results.