NZKGI’s referendum to renew the compulsory levy on kiwifruit exports except Australia began last week and will run through until 24 March. Growers will begin to receive their voting papers over the coming days.
Whilst non-critical issues may seem trivial during these difficult times, NZKGI’s levy renewal referendum can’t be delayed for the organisation to be able to continue – and NZKGI needs to be there to advocate for growers during times like these. NZKGI is asking Growers for their support to retain the levy as it currently stands, 1.1 cent/TE, with the ability for it to increase up to 1.5 cent/TE only with further grower support at an Annual or Special General Meeting.
The proposed levy would continue to fund NZKGI’s activities which will include an increased focus on the monitoring and reporting of industry performance. The last referendum took place in 2017. Since that time NZKGI has used the levy to produce significant outcomes for kiwifruit Growers. This has included supporting growers through COVID-19, to advocate for the Single Point of Entry marketing structure, hold Zespri to account and to attract labour to the industry.
It is in each individual growers’ interest to be engaged in this process. As we are seeing with issues like the proposed ban of Hi-Cane, the success of their business often comes down to the advocacy that NZKGI provides them. Grower votes will show the Minister of Agriculture the level of support there is to continue the funding for kiwifruit grower advocacy.
All Growers are entitled to vote and will be sent voting papers. A Grower is considered to be the “titleholder of kiwifruit”, meaning a person that has legal and beneficial title to kiwifruit when it is supplied to an exporter. The Grower is sometimes not the owner of land.
Growers who have not received a ballot pack in the post by Wednesday, 1st of March should contact NZKGI on 0800 232 505 or firstname.lastname@example.org. More information on the referendum can be found here: www.nzkgi.org.nz/nzkgis-levy-renewal