Record support has been given by dairy farmers for continuing
their annual milk solids levy to fund ongoing research and
development, environmental work and other industry
Voting closed on May 31 in the referendum, held every six
years, and interim results showed 60% of 14,436 eligible
farmers voted with 78% in favour of continuing the levy.
Weighted by milk solids, the results lifted to 82% for voting
in favour of the levy, and 68% overall voter turnout.
Farmers now pay a levy of 3.6c/kg of milk solids annually and
that would remain unchanged until at least May 2016.
The results were a record for the vote and the turnout was
also well above the average for industry-specific levy
referendums, DairyNZ chairman John Luxton said.
DairyNZ chief executive Tim Mackle said sharemilkers, in
particular, responded to the call to have their say and their
vote was up 13% on the previous poll.
Farmers had given the organisation some clear messages during
the campaign about what it needed to achieve in the next six
years: ''We have to meet a number of key strategic targets,
including delivering farm systems research to help reduce our
environmental footprint by 30%, while increasing profits,''
Dr Mackle said.
Final results would be determined once the total amount of
milk solids produced for the 2013-14 season was known,
hopefully by the end of June. He expected some change ''but
Federated Farmers dairy chairman Willy Leferink was pleased
the industry had responded to the call to vote.
A good showing was needed to lock in the levy and that was
what the industry had delivered.