HortNZ will apply for a new levy order to cover next six years following levy referendum 

thumbnail_HortNZ logo 1300

A record number of growers voted in this referendum

New Zealand fruit and vegetable growers have voted to renew the commodity levy that funds industry body Horticulture New Zealand (HortNZ). 

In the recent levy referendum, 97 per cent of fruit and vegetable growers by value voted to continue their support of HortNZ while 87 per cent of growers by number voted to continue paying the levy. 

A record number of growers voted in the referendum, well up on the last levy vote, according to a HortNZ statement. 

“We appreciate the mandate growers have given us. It reflects a strong and ambitious sector and a desire among growers for a unified voice,” HortNZ said.  

“This vote is also a clear signal that our 4,200 commercial fruit and vegetable growers want us to advocate on behalf of their interests.” 

The industry body has said its primary focus will remain to ensure growers’ voices are heard and to provide the necessary support so growers can make informed decisions about their businesses.  

“Over the next six years, we will work hard to deliver tangible results for growers, businesses, and grower communities,” HortNZ said. 

“To meet our sector’s ambitious goals, we will strongly advocate for policies, resources, and business friendly settings that will help our sector double the orchard gate value of production while enhancing the prosperity of our people and protecting our environment.” 

HortNZ thanked the growers that participated in the referendum and said the renewed mandate aligned with feedback received from growers during grower meetings earlier this year. 

The support affirmed the backing of HortNZ’s key priorities, which include water availability, climate change adaptation and mitigation, and ensuring food security and the right to grow. 

Growers have also called for less duplication across different product groups and a stronger, united voice for the entire horticulture sector. With the certainty of continued levy support, HortNZ said it would continue to explore more collaborative approaches to maximise the returns on growers’ investments in the industry body. 

HortNZ will now apply to the minister of agriculture for a new levy order that will run for a maximum of six years from 1 April 2025. The application includes the levy rate remaining at a maximum of 15 cents per NZ$100 of sales.