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NZBIG Endorses Commodity Levy

New Zealand Bee Industry Group

NZBIG Endorses Commodity Levy

The New Zealand Bee Industry Group (NZBIG) has endorsed a proposed commodity levy to fund research on commercial beekeeping.

NZBIG, an industry group of Federated Farmers of New Zealand (Inc), represents commercial and hobbyist beekeepers. They are currently holding their conference and annual meeting in Methven.

Members endorsed a plan to develop a commodity levy for beekeepers with more than 50 hives. The plan is to set up a Bee Industry Research Group funded by levy-paying beekeepers. The proposed research group would contract the Foundation for Arable Research to administer the levy and oversee research projects.

Members asked the NZBIG Executive to discuss the proposal with other beekeeping organisations to gather more industry support and further develop the proposal, so that the levy can be taken to a referendum.

"This is an important step forward for the New Zealand bee industry, one of the few primary industries without a commodity levy. Currently there is no organised structure in place for the bee industry to coordinate funding of research into areas such as varroa, small hive beetle, and new opportunities for bee pollination," said NZBIG Chairman Milton Jackson.

"This makes it extremely difficult to identify and research projects that will add value to New Zealand beekeeping in a structured way which guarantees the successful completion of bee industry research.

"NZBIG is hopeful that the rest of the beekeeping industry will support the proposal.

"The next step is to talk with as many beekeepers as possible and engage other beekeeping organisations over the next six to eight weeks to enlist their support for the proposal," Mr Jackson said.

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