OPINION: It's time for agriculture to rank higher in Cabinet.
So says Labour's Primary Industry spokesperson Damien O'Connor says.
"The introduction of the varroa mite exposed disunity across this important industry," says O'Connor.
"As a result, the last Labour government developed an industry agreement concept to provide better coordination in the event of a biosecurity incursion.
"While the processes around biosecurity response have been improved, the beekeeping industry is yet to take the sensible step of being united into one single industry body.
"I applaud the work of the Federated Farmers and the National Beekeepers Association president Ricki Leahy who put together this proposal to ensure better advocacy for the industry.
"I urge all those beekeepers yet to cast their vote to support unity before the ballot closes this Friday.
"Then all government agencies will be able to deal with bee industry issues efficiently and effectively."