Horticulture growers voted to keep the levy at its current rate, at the Horticulture New Zealand Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Christchurch today.
"Last year, we proposed reducing the levy by 0.01% to 0.14% (14c per $100 of sales) and this year, we recommended maintaining that rate," Horticulture New Zealand Board Chairman Julian Raine says.
"Horticulture New Zealand’s financial performance, with prudent cost controls, has enabled the Board to recommend retaining the lower levy rate."
Commercial fruit and vegetable growers covered by Horticulture New Zealand are legally required under the Commodity Levies (Vegetables and Fruit) Order 2013 to pay a levy on the sale of those fruit and vegetables grown in New Zealand. The maximum levy rate is 15 cents per $100 of sales.
"The Board has conducted a review to develop an Operations Reserves Policy, which was tabled and approved at the AGM," Mr Raine says.
"This is to build and maintain an adequate level of funds to support Horticulture New Zealand’s day-to-day operations should unforeseen events cause shortfalls in funding. The reserves are to cover one financial year’s commitments."
Mr Raine also advised the AGM that the Board would be appointing an Associate Director, as a development opportunity for a future leader to join the HortNZ Board in a non-voting role, and spoke about the organisation’s new diversity policy.
Horticulture New Zealand’s AGM runs alongside the Horticulture Conference 2018, being held at the Air Force Museum in Christchurch.
About the Horticulture Conference 2018
The Horticulture Conference 2018, held at the Air Force Museum, Wigram, Christchurch, from 23-25 July, is the conference of Horticulture New Zealand, New Zealand Apples & Pears, Vegetables New Zealand Inc., Process Vegetables New Zealand, and Tomatoes New Zealand Inc. In addition to conference sessions there are industry exhibitors showing the latest tools of the trade.
The Conference is being made possible with support from Platinum sponsor Countdown; Gold sponsors T&G Global, Plant & Food Research and United Fresh New Zealand Inc; Silver sponsor Jenkins Freshpac Systems; and Bronze sponsors Zespri, Cravo, MG Marketing, Adama, Rabobank, Fruit Logistica, Yarra New Zealand, Hill Laboratories, Crystal Payroll, Primary ITO, AsureQuality, and Chep.