Producers of the country’s sheep meat and beef have the opportunity to vote on whether or not to continue the collection of a levy for Beef + Lamb NZ. This levy ensures the work of the organisation is able to carry on.
The agricultural body’s website stated that: “If farmers vote “yes”, Beef + Lamb NZ will continue to deliver the programmes you’ve told us are important, that we’ve developed and put in place over the past six years. Based on your feedback, we also propose to boost our activity around the environment, health and safety, and speaking up on the big issues affecting farmers.”
Voting closes on 10 September, with the results being announced on 25 September.
Chairman of Beef + Lamb NZ James Parsons encouraged those eligible to speak out: “It is important for farmers to have their say and ensure that the organisation has a strong mandate to continue its activities on behalf of farmers.”
To obtain the necessary votes that will continue their existence, Parsons has led 21 meetings aimed at farmers, whilst another 32 have been attended by others involved in the industry.
However, the levy board has come under some criticism.
Although praising their collection of data and other jobs performed by the body, Meat Industry Excellence (MIE) chairman Peter McDonald said the group ought to do more to represent farmers who pay the levy when it comes to the improvement of meat processing and pricing.
Speaking to stuff.co.nz, McDonald said: “We [MIE] talk about all the things they can’t and won’t talk about. I understand they have constraints. The question is whether farmers want them to fully represent them in the future.”
Despite this, McDonald continued to welcome the review and opened up the floor for discussion between the two bodies about appointing two directors from the Meat Industry Association to Beef + Lamb’s NZ board.