Strategic Update – Levy

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Chris Claridge, Chief Executive

Levy Referendum Update

It was great to see so many growers at the consultation meetings across New Zealand. Attendance reached 44% of the levy vote with feedback being received and shared. It appears the industry is in good shape which is heartening although some regions have struggled with adverse weather conditions. Local and export prices for table potatoes have remained firm with export prices to Fiji continuing to remain around $1000 per MT as we go to print. Canterbury crops are reporting good yields however late season Psyllid damage continues to be an issue for some growers.

Value is being delivered to growers with farm gate value growing from $103 million to $170 million in 2017 an increase of 65%.  Focus will now move to ensuring over the next 6 years that the industry is competitive internationally and able to deliver strong R&D outcomes that can be translated into increased grower profitability.

There are concerns over climate change and increased compliance from local and central government. Having access to land and the ability to grow potatoes profitability is a key concern of growers and we have heard the message loud and clear. PNZ is committed to working with Hort New Zealand to ensure that these concerns are heard and acted upon.

I have reported grower feedback received on the Strategic Plan & Business Plan and other issues from the Levy Consultation Meetings to the Board at our meeting on the 20thof April. PNZ is committed to ensure that Levy funds are directed where they gain the best return for growers. The key change is that PNZ has committed to establishing a six year Strategic R&D plan which will direct and focus research projects. We hope to present this to growers and industry later in the year.

If you were unable to attend the Levy Consultation Meetings and are keen to speak to PNZ please call us on 0800 399 674.

You should have received your voting papers in the mail which allows you to vote either by mail or online. If you have any questions please call the election help line 0800 666 028.

To continue progressing and put our industry in the best possible position to achieve our 2025 goals, we need you the growers to vote YES in the levy referendum.

For details of how to vote please visit click here.