Sheep and beef producers, including dairy farmers through their cull cows, will have the chance to express their view on the next six years’ funding when voting runs between 8 August and 10 September 2015.
Beef + Lamb New Zealand chairman James Parsons said the Commodity Levies Act required farmers to vote to continue levy orders every six years and a ‘yes’ vote would enable Beef + Lamb New Zealand’s activities to carry on. A ‘no’ vote would mean that Beef + Lamb New Zealand would be wound down and all the programmes would end.
Beef + Lamb New Zealand launched the referendum campaign at the Beef + Lamb New Zealand farmer council annual conference in Wellington this week.
Commodity Levies Act
The proposed levy rates from 2016 to 2017 are to remain unchanged at 60 cents per sheep and AU$4.40 per cattle beast. Under the Commodity Levies Act, a maximum levy must also be set for the six-year levy cycle. For sheep this will be set at 75 cents per head and beef AU$5.50 per head.
“We’re proposing a programme that will continue the momentum of the past six years, carrying on activities that farmers have told us are important,” said Parsons.
“The organisation’s market access activities alongside government have achieved tariff savings of $161 million in 2014 and that work remains an important activity.
Health and safety
“Farmers have also told us they want their organisation to have a stronger voice with government and policy-makers in the areas of health and safety, the environment, and on other regulatory issues which impact their farming business. They want to see sensible and workable rules and regulations and we will be doing more work in these areas over the next six years, alongside others in the sector.”
Parsons encouraged farmers across New Zealand to attend one of the 53 regional roadshows being held throughout New Zealand between 12-28 August.
The 2015 Sheepmeat and Beef Levy Referendum proposal can be viewed at beeflambnz.com/referendum