Thank you to all growers who came to our Round one and Round two consultation meetings. With these meetings now complete, we have reached the end of our consultation phase.
All members of the Summerfruit NZ board attended consultation meetings around the country, listening to your views and answering your questions.
The Round two meetings provided an opportunity for growers to clarify points raised in Round one (particularly for those who had been unable to attend Round one meetings) and to consider new issues that had occurred to growers since the Round one meetings. No new issues were raised during these Round two meetings.
One grower made a strong case in Round two for adoption of the hectare approach to levy collection (with only one other orchard supporting that suggestion), while another grower supported a change to a per kilogram calculation method (with no support from others for this suggestion).
We also received a list of questions from a grower in Alexandra and these are on our website, along with the answers.
Summerfruit NZ has now spoken to 99 stakeholders, many of them more than once. We didn’t manage to catch up with everyone though, as always, growers were welcome to contact us to discuss their views. There was definitely robust, open discussion at all of the meetings which was great to see. So we feel that we have a very clear understanding of what growers want from the commodity levy order.
We have taken into account the views of growers of all sizes, from all around the country in making a decision that we believe is in the best interests of our industry. In the end, the consultation feedback was so consistent that our job was made easy for us. There was near unanimous support from growers we have engaged with for the levy calculation method to remain the same as it is now.
At our Board meeting this week we discussed the levy renewal process that we’ve followed and the Board signed off the content of the ballot paper.
The referendum ballot papers are being finalised and printed, and will be sent out very soon. Full details on how to vote will be included with your ballot paper.
The ballot will run from 16 October - 8 November with the results available within a few days of the vote closing. Votes can be lodged by post or online. We encourage all growers to vote and to do so online where possible to avoid any possible delays with postal returns.
Results of the ballot will be available on the Summerfruit NZ website and in our Prunings newsletter.
A successful outcome for the commodity levy order renewal will ensure that Summerfruit NZ can continue to exist; and the independent industry review that is to follow will tell us what that future existence might look like. We will start work on the independent industry review project very soon.
Just as we have kept growers informed on the consultation process and outcomes, we will continue to update you on the progress of the remaining steps of our commodity level renewal via our website.
On behalf of all Board members, thank you for your constructive engagement and debate throughout the commodity levy renewal process.
Thank you for your support.
The Board of Summerfruit NZ