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Growers vote to unite industry

July 20, 2004

Growers vote to unite industry

New Zealand pipfruit growers now have the power to influence desired outcomes on industry issues and will be a major force for their industry on the world stage.

Pipfruit New Zealand chairman Phil Alison called the outcome a landmark decision that unites growers with the post harvest sector for a single voice for industry good.

Growers voted an overwhelmingly 96.05 percent in favour of change at a Special General Meeting in Hastings today.

The voter turnout represented nearly 50 percent of the export crop.

“A decision to open up membership to the post harvest sector is a great step forward and strengthens our position in an increasingly demanding marketplace,” Mr Alison said.

PNZ will remain in the control of growers. The new board will comprise four grower directors and three post harvest directors.

Growers’ voting rights are based on production weight on all matters.

Post harvest voting rights are also based on production weight.

An interim board will be appointed within shortly and a board meeting will be held soon after.

Pipfruit New Zealand is responsible for industry good functions.

More… This includes new variety development, production and post-harvest research, market access development, phytosanitary and food safety assurance, regulatory compliance and government policy.

It will also provide commercial benefit to the whole industry through co-operative management of the industry good functions.

Other industry objectives include the need for better access to world markets and to maximise commercial returns for growers, exporters, post-harvest operators and industry suppliers.

“It’s important to clarify that we are not returning to a single desk as before deregulation. We are uniting as a single voice on all industry good issues. “The objective is to consolidate views so that the industry makes informed, coordinated decisions,” he said.

A proposal to unite the industry and how the Society would be governed was first put forward at the Pipfruit New Zealand AGM in January.

Although voter turnout was high, in fact higher than the deregulation vote, the specific proposal did not win enough support to succeed.

“Back then I publicly stated that there was no plan B in regard to our proposal for uniting the industry.

“Growers clearly stated that they didn’t want a plan B – they supported the actual concept before them but wanted more information, time or changes before opening up membership,” he said.

Since then Pipfruit New Zealand board members and staff have continued to consult with growers and other industry sectors.

“We met with many growers both large and small and held a number of formal meetings.

“We have also spent more time addressing and recognising the concerns of minor regions on representational communication issues.”

ENDS


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