8 Jul 2013

Citrus growers strongly support compulsory levy

11:30 am on 8 July 2013

Citrus growers have voted strongly in favour of a compulsory levy on all New-Zealand-grown citrus fruit next year, to help fund research and development.

Votes were cast by growers representing an estimated 70% of the country's citrus production. More than 80% of those who voted supported the levy.

Commodity levies currently cover navel oranges and Satsuma mandarins; levies on other citrus fruit, such as lemons, limes and grapefruit, are voluntary.

Under a compulsory levy, lemon growers will be able to halve their levy rate to 1c a kilo. Levy rates for other fruit will stay the same - for example, 0.5% for mandarins and 1c for oranges and tangelos.

The levy on fruit for processing stays at 0.3c.

Citrus New Zealand will apply to the Government to have the new commodity levy in place by next April.