Industry group, Strawberry Growers of New Zealand (SGNZ) has proposed the idea of a possible introduction of an industry levy for commercial strawberry growers. This concept is to be discussed at a series of meetings across the country.
SGNZ Executive Manager, Michael Ahern stated that the levy is about moving the sector forward: "Although growing strawberries in New Zealand is a long standing and successful practice, in more recent times, the board of SGNZ has decided that it has to take a more active approach on certain issues that affect the future for the growing of strawberries."
He said the levy would be used to address important issues facing growers: "There are a number of critical areas where growers don't have the time, or expertise, to engage with Government agencies in particular, on areas of unquestioned common interests.”
Ahern added that the need for more engagement was highlighted in strategic plan commissioned by the board of SGNZ: "It highlighted the critical areas that the board should be more actively involved with, and when we looked at that, we realised that we needed a more reliable method of collecting money - and it needs to be fair and reasonable."
Newshub.co.nz tells us that meetings to discuss the proposed commodity levy are being held in Auckland, Hamilton, Palmerston North and Nelson from April 30 to May 6.