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Dairy farmers have shown a record level of support for continuing investment in their annual milksolids levy to fund ongoing research and development, environmental work and other industry initiatives.
Voting closed on May 31 for the third dairy industry levy vote since the Dairy Industry Restructuring Act 2001.
Interim voting results show 60 percent of 14,436 eligible farmers voted and 78 percent voted ‘yes’ to continue the levy.
Weighted by milksolids, the results lift to 82 percent for voting ‘yes’ to the levy, and 68 percent overall voter turnout.
Farmers currently pay a levy of 3.6c/kilogram of milksolids annually, which will remain unchanged until at least May 2016.
DairyNZ chairman John Luxton says the results are a record for the once-every-six-years levy vote.
“It shows the co-operative nature and forward focus of dairy farming, New Zealand’s most important and successful business sector. It also reflects extremely well on the management and staff of DairyNZ for the great work they do.
“It’s a fantastic result and all credit goes to those who have voted and taken a proactive stance on driving our industry forward. It’s a strong mandate on all the indicators. That’s what we wanted from our farmers – and that’s what they have delivered,” Mr Luxton says.
DairyNZ chief executive Tim Mackle says sharemilkers in particular responded to the call to have their say, and their vote is up 13 percent on last time. “That lift combined with more farm owners voting really made a difference,” he says.
“Farmers have given us some clear messages during this campaign about what we need 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 percent, while increasing profits.”