The following questions were received at the commodity levy renewal meeting in Alexandra on 17 September.
1. Where is the plan for the next six years?
Sensational Summerfruit was the a seven year development plan that the Board had prepared for the industry. This plan has now been put aside until the independent industry review has been conducted. Summerfruit NZ do not want to predetermine any of the outcomes of that review. Therefore until the review has been completed (estimate May in 2020) we believe that it is not appropriate to prepare any further plan.
2. Where are the proposals for the next two years spending?
The Board is about to finalise the 2020 budget at the coming meeting in October. Given the Independent industry review and the unknown outcomes of that review it is not feasible to prepare a budget beyond the current (2020) financial year.
3. What are the costs of running the core business of Summerfruit NZ?
The Summerfruit NZ Annual report provides audited annual accounts with detailed breakdown of spending. The last four annual reports are available on the website.
4. Are there any proposed changes to what the levy can be spent on?
5. If so what are they? And who proposed the changes?
No changes are proposed to what the levy can be spent on, for more information on any other changes click here.
Taking the same approach as we have with our earlier levy Orders, we propose that the new Summerfruit Levy Order includes all those purposes that are allowed under the Commodity levy Act.
The general purposes for which Summerfruit NZ may spend the levy for the representation of growers are:
- research including market research
- development of products
- development of markets
- protection or improvement of plant health
- development and implementation of quality assurance programmes
- education, information, or training
- biosecurity activities, including readiness and response
- administration of Summerfruit NZ.
This list is identical to that which appeared in the 2014 referendum with the exception that we have added a line that spells out the biosecurity activities. Technically biosecurity is considered to come under ‘protection or improvement of plant health’. However Summerfruit NZ has become a signatory to GIA since the last referendum so we wanted to make the biosecurity activities clearer.
You can find an outline of the changes that we are proposing to the levy Order here.
6. Who puts together the ballot paper?
7. Is there a draft ballot paper that can be viewed?
The ballot paper is still under development and will continue to be in this draft form until the consultation process is completed. The content of the ballot paper forms the basis of the final levy Order itself. Therefore it is a formal document. It must meet very specific requirements for the referendum to have been considered to be ‘competently devised’, which is a requirement of the Act. While MPI do not approve the wording of the ballot paper they do provide guidance on the requirements of the Act, including what needs to appear in the ballot paper. So we do consult with them throughout the development of the ballot paper to ensure it meets these requirements.
You can view the previous ballot paper used in the 2013 referendum here.