26 Sep 2012

Final week for growers to vote on levy

2:07 pm on 26 September 2012

Fruit and vegetable growers have until the end of this week to decide whether to continue supporting their national industry body by way of a levy.

Horticulture New Zealand's growers levy is renewed every six years and this is the first time it has come back for renewal since the organisation was formed in 2005.

HortNZ is proposing a levy of 15 cents per $100 of sales, across the board.

The amount is the same for most vegetable growers, but is a 4c increase for fruit growers, since they are no longer receiving funding from the Fruitgrowers Charitable Trust.

HortNZ president Andrew Fenton says the biggest risk is voter apathy.

Mr Fenton says if more than 50% of those who vote support the levy all growers will be required to pay, bringing in about $2.5 million a year.

A result is expected early next week.