Farmer levy raises mooted for new strategy

GERALD PIDDOCK
Last updated 10:32 02/07/2013

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DairyNZ are yet to decide whether they will raise the farmer levy to help fund a new strategy that will guide future investments and industry activities until 2020.

Its new strategy for sustainable dairy farming is to be launched on July 9 and will influence how DairyNZ invests its levy as well as the Government funding it receives, DairyNZ chief executive Tim Mackle said.

‘‘It does influence our board and how we invest our farmers levy and also the government money we leverage as well,’’ Mackle said at a Waikato section meeting for the New Zealand Institute of Agricultural & Horticultural Science.

All dairy farmers who produce milk from cows that is supplied to a dairy company currently pay a levy to DairyNZ of 3.6 cents per kg MS produced. DairyNZ also receives money through government funding.

Any decision over a levy increase would be worked through the DairyNZ board, Mackle said.

The various water plans that regional councils were creating and the Government policy around fresh water were very resource hungry. But DairyNZ had a natural hedge because milk production was going up year on year, he said.

‘‘Whether or not that was able to cover the increase demands of the challenges in front of us is something we will have to work out between now and December.’’

The next levy vote for dairy farmers will be in May 2014.

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- Fairfax Media

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