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Fed. Farmers Congratulates MNZ on Levy Decision

26 October 2001 PR162/10

Federated Farmers Congratulates MNZ on Levy Decision

Federated Farmers' NZ Meat & Fibre Producers Chairman Murray Taggart today congratulated Meat New Zealand (MNZ) Chairman Jeff Grant on his announcement to implement the Commodity Levies Act (CLA).

"NZ Meat & Fibre Producers have advocated the use of the Commodity Levies Act for industry good activities such as R&D for several years - we are delighted that MNZ has finally acknowledged that the CLA is an appropriate funding mechanism."

Currently MNZ is able to strike a levy at any rate and spend it on any activity it wishes to, without requiring farmer support.

"Funding under the CLA will ensure that growers determine industry good priorities and expenditure."

Mr Grant has also proposed that MNZ and other industry organisations work together to amend the CLA to better suit meat and other producer levies. He said that the CLA needed a revamp so that farmers have the final say on the CLA and not Parliament, and to reduce administrative costs. Mr Grant has also suggested that the Meat Board Act could be amended to include CLA principles if changes to the CLA were not possible.

"We support Mr Grant's proposal to slim down the CLA and look forward to working with MNZ on this issue. However, we must ensure that the key elements of the CLA, such as farmers deciding the level of the levy and what it is spent on, are retained," said Mr Taggart.

ENDS

For further information: Murray Taggart (025) 249-9494 Maxine Yule (04) 473-7269

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