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Growers vote to support Horticulture New Zealand

New Zeland fruit and vegetable growers have voted to continue their support for HortNZ.

97 percent of growers by value, voted to continue support of HortNZ in the recent levy referendum, whilst 87 percent of growers by number voted to continue paying the levy.

A record number of growers voted – there was a large turn-out for this referendum, well up on the last levy vote.

"We appreciate the mandate growers have given us. It reflects a strong and ambitious sector and a desire among growers for a unified voice", the organization says. "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."

"Over the next six years, we will work hard to deliver tangible results for growers, businesses, and grower communities. Our primary focus will remain on ensuring that growers' voices are heard and providing the necessary support so growers can make informed decisions about their businesses. This certainty is essential for growers to confidently invest in their future operations.

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.

Thank you to those growers who participated in the referendum. This renewed mandate aligns with the feedback we received from growers during our grower meetings earlier this year."

Growers have affirmed that HortNZ is on the right track and support their key priorities, which include water availability, climate change adaptation and mitigation, and ensuring food security and the right to grow.

"We have also heard growers' calls for less duplication across different product groups and a stronger, united voice for the entire horticulture sector. With the certainty of continued levy support, we will continue to explore more collaborative approaches to maximise the returns on growers' investments in HortNZ."

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 $100 of sales.

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