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New Zealand’s kiwifruit growers begin referendum vote

MEDIA RELEASE: Embargoed until 12am, 24 February 2017

24 February 2017

New Zealand’s kiwifruit growers begin referendum vote

- Support referendum for a compulsory levy on kiwifruit exports except Australia is now underway
- Levy funds growers’ advocacy organisation, New Zealand Kiwifruit Growers Inc.

From 24 February until 17 March, New Zealand’s kiwifruit growers are invited to participate in a postal and online referendum for a compulsory levy on kiwifruit exports except Australia.

The proposed levy would continue to fund NZKGI’s activities which will include an increased focus on communication and the monitoring and reporting of industry performance. The last referendum took place in 2011. Since that time NZKGI has used the levy to produce significant outcomes for kiwifruit growers. This has included the fight against Psa, to advocate for the Single Point of Entry marketing structure and as a central stakeholder in the Kiwifruit Industry Strategy Project.

NZKGI Chairperson, Doug Brown strongly encourages growers to vote in the referendum. “It is in each individual growers’ interest to be engaged in this process. The success of their business often comes down to the advocacy that NZKGI provides them.”

The referendums significance is reinforced by NZKGI CEO Nikki Johnson who says, “this is an important opportunity for kiwifruit growers to make their vote count. Grower votes will show the Minister for Primary Industries 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 Monday, 27th of February should contact NZKGI on 0800 232 505 or info@nzkgi.org.nz.

ENDS

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