As the date for this year’s Beef + Lamb NZ (B+LNZ) sheep and beef levy referendum draws closer, Kiwi sheep and beef farmers are being encouraged to check they’re registered to vote.
B+LNZ will be going to farmers next month and asking them to have their say on the future of the organisation.
B+LNZ is funded and directed by farmers via commodity levies paid on all sheep, beef and dairy cattle processed in New Zealand. Under the Commodity Levies Act farmers vote via referendum every six years on whether the organisation should continue.
“The levy referendum is entirely about continuity of business. By law, we need a ‘yes’ vote to continue our work on behalf of farmers. A ‘no’ vote would mean that B+LNZ would be wound down and all the programmes carried out on behalf of farmers by B+LNZ would end,” said B+LNZ chief executive, Dr Scott Champion.
Voting will be in September and will be open to all sheep, beef and dairy farmers, as long as they are registered on the B+LNZ electoral roll. As well as being registered, farmers must have owned livestock on 30 June 2015 to be eligible to vote.
A referendum campaign in August-September will outline the reasons for farmers to continue investing in programmes run by B+LNZ, which are designed to support a confident sector with improved farm productivity, profitability and performance.
“Beef + Lamb New Zealand is by farmers, for farmers – that’s why it’s important that all farmers owning livestock at 30 June 2015 ensure they are on the roll and their details are up to date. We want everyone to have their say,” said Dr Champion.
Dr Champion stressed that receiving email correspondence from B+LNZ, like the weekly B+LNZ e-diaries, does not necessarily mean farmers are on the electoral roll.
“Farmers often think they are automatically registered as a livestock owner, but that’s not the case. Even if you get mail from us or have processed stock and paid a levy, you may not be registered. If you’re not sure if you’re on the electoral roll or just want to check your details are up to date, call us on 0800 BEEFLAMB (0800 233 352).”
Farmers can also register online on the B+LNZ website, at beeflambnz.com/register.
Supplied by B+LNZ.