Levy paying dairy farmers have voted to continue the sector's milksolids levy.
The one in six-year milksolids levy vote closed on May 30, with provisional results showing 57 percent of the 11,747 levy paying dairy farmers voted – and of those who voted, 69 percent voted ‘yes’ to continuing the levy.
Weighting the vote by milksolids production shows even greater representation and support for the levy, with this year’s votes equating to a 67 percent farmer vote and 74 percent voting ‘yes’.
DairyNZ, the industry good body for dairy farmers, is funded by the milksolids levy. Chair Jim van der Poel said the vote provides DairyNZ with confidence as it heads into the future.
“New Zealand’s dairy sector is progressive and our farmers have illustrated a clear mandate that they want an industry good organisation which represents and supports them to continue as a successful sector,” said Mr van der Poel.
“The milksolids levy underpins a wide range of industry good work, including the sector strategy Dairy Tomorrow, and we are pleased this year’s levy vote will enable DairyNZ to continue that work on behalf of dairy farmers.”
The milksolids levy vote was a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ vote for each levy paying farm owner, sharemilker or leaseholder.
“Final results will be available once the total milksolids produced for the 2019/20 season is known in late June. However, we don’t expect any significant change.”
A clear indication of farmer support is required for DairyNZ to make a new levy application to the Minister for Primary Industries to approve the ongoing levy for the next six years.
“I’d like to thank every dairy farmer who voted. Having a farmer mandate gives us a stronger voice when important decisions are underway, where sector feedback can result in significant change.”
Mr van der Poel said DairyNZ will continue to deliver the best research and on-farm tools and support.
“Securing a better future for dairy farmers is the biggest motivator for the DairyNZ board and staff and we are looking forward to continuing our work. This levy campaign will inform our priorities and we have a lot of work ahead of us,” said Mr van der Poel.
“The 2020 season has been challenging with weather, COVID-19 and some uncertainty, so we have some work to do as an organisation and we look forward to ensuring we have farmers’ support and active engagement going forward.”
“We’ve picked up a lot of useful feedback from farmers through this process, which we’ll use to improve our service to farmers going forward.”
Levy paying farmers contribute 3.6c per kilogram of milksolids (kgMS) produced. The levy rate gets reviewed by the DairyNZ Board each year. It has remained at 3.6c/kgMS since 2008 and DairyNZ has committed that it will remain at that level for the 2020/21 season.
The table below shows previous milksolids levy outcomes.