New Zealand, Australia, News May 2024, Organizations in the News

Potato industry reaffirms trust in Potatoes New Zealand with overwhelming levy support

In a resounding show of confidence, potato growers across New Zealand have granted Potatoes New Zealand (PNZ) a robust mandate to continue advocating on their behalf for the next six-year potato levy cycle.

The Declaration of Result, provided by independent Returning Officer Warwick Lampp of, revealed that a striking 94.74% of voting growers supported the proposed levy. This support translates to 95.83% of the gross sales value from the previous season.

Voter turnout was significant, with 54.68% of eligible growers casting their ballots.

Marked improvement from previous levy referendum

These results showcase a marked improvement from the previous levy referendum in 2018, where 81.69% of voters supported the levy, representing 88.56% of the gross sales value. That referendum saw a voter turnout of 41.04%.

PNZ Chair Paul Olsen expressed his satisfaction with the outcome, stating, “This great result reflects the work that Potatoes New Zealand has delivered and will continue to deliver for growers. It is especially pleasing to see that potato growers got to have their say to shape the future of the potato industry.

“The potato industry has experienced various challenges, including increased regulations and pressure across the whole supply chain. But the future is promising, and Potatoes New Zealand will be there to make sure that growers’ interests remain the top priority.”

PNZ’s commitment to growers

Potatoes New Zealand CEO Kate Trufitt echoed Olsen’s sentiments, emphasizing the organization’s commitment to representing growers’ interests.

“We thank growers and are very pleased with this support they have shown for Potatoes New Zealand to continue to represent and advocate for them. Our organization is primarily focused on the interests of growers, and ensuring they are receiving maximum benefit from the industry structure.

“I encourage all growers to continue to contact us to make sure that our organization is focusing on issues important to them,” Trufitt said.

Potato growers first voted to establish a potato commodity levy in 2012 to fund the operation of Potatoes New Zealand. Since its inception, the organization has played a crucial role in advocating for growers in national and local government decision-making, supporting young growers and succession planning for the industry, representing the industry internationally, and communicating business-critical issues to growers.

With the strong support reaffirmed, Potatoes New Zealand will now inform the Minister’s office and apply for a new levy order. This step ensures the organization continues its pivotal work in advancing the interests of New Zealand’s potato growers, steering the industry towards a prosperous future.

Source: Potatoes New Zealand (PNZ)
Sheree Philips, Engagement and Communications Officer

Editor & Publisher: Lukie Pieterse

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