Thursday, 07 March 2019 12:51

ApiNZ disappointed by beekeepers’ votes on levy

Written by 
ApiNZ chair Bruce Wills. ApiNZ chair Bruce Wills.

Commercial beekeepers have voted not to support the introduction of a honey levy.

Just 23.56% of beekeepers voted for the introduction of a commodity levy led by industry organisation Apiculture New Zealand (ApiNZ).

While ApiNZ is disappointed, family beekeepers Rural News spoke to have welcomed the news, saying they are already under enough financial pressure in a market flooded with non-manuka floral honey. "We were worried the corporates with their tens of thousands of hives would outnumber the traditional family beekeeping businesses," says one long-term beekeeper.

ApiNZ chair Bruce Wills says, “It’s no secret that this is not the outcome I, or the board, wanted to see. I believe it will set back the development of the honey industry, but I understand that at present commercial beekeepers are hurting with the erosion in honey prices as a result of over-supply, for all floral types other than mānuka honey.” 

“We understand that affordability is a real issue for beekeepers at this time. The current season has been disappointing, and many beekeepers are in survival mode and don’t want to incur any extra cost when their revenues are under such pressure. 

“The whole of industry must accept the decision the beekeepers have made, but it is a disappointing result for future development of the industry, particularly given the experience and examples of other successful primary sectors who are collectively focused and funded based on everyone contributing financially to industry good outcomes.

“With hindsight, even though the levy was considered to be sustainable in either easy or difficult times, it was not the ideal time to put the levy proposition to the vote. However, despite the outcome the challenges and issues faced by the industry remain the same and ApiNZ is committed to continuing to work on these through its work programmes and industry focus groups.”

Final results as advised by Electionz.com are:

Vote Count (based on 26 hives or more): 76.44% voted No compared with 23.56% who voted Yes.

Weighted vote (based on hive numbers of those who voted): The No votes represented 64.03% of the total registered beehives of those who voted; while the Yes votes represented 35.97% of the total registered beehives of those who voted.

Voter turnout: 60.96% of all eligible voters voted in the levy referendum (being 1,057 votes received from 1,734 eligible honey producers).

More like this

New bee Guy!

Former Agriculture Minister Nathan Guy will take over as the independent chair of Apiculture New Zealand (ApiNZ).

New investigation into native honey

Plant & Food Research will be leading a national team of research looking at native honey composition and the characteristics that appeal most to consumers.

Big wet takes sting out of bees

The heavy rains in the lower North Island and parts of Northland in December has kept bees in these areas in their hives - unwilling it seems to venture out in the poor weather.

National

Machinery & Products

New disc cultivator launched

Väderstad has introduced a new disc cultivator – the Carrier XT 425-625 – featuring rotating disc axles, that optimizes results…

JD unlocks its digital system

As a long-term advocate of digital technology, John Deere has taken the route of mass data capture, rather than concentrating…

» The RNG Weather Report

» Latest Print Issues Online

The Hound

Fruitful change?

OPINION: Your canine crusader notes that meat company Silver Fern Farms has undergone quite a refresh over the last few…

All for show?

OPINION: The Hound notes that Fonterra is cashing in on the curent government's largesse with taxpayer money.

» Connect with Rural News

» eNewsletter

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter