Dairy farmers vote in favour of continuation of milksolids levy

The vote takes place once every six years.
The vote takes place once every six years. Photo credit: Getty

Dairy farmers have voted in favour of continuing the sector's milksolids levy.

Voting by dairy farmers closed on May 30, with provisional results showing 57 percent of 11,747 levy-paying dairy farmers participated in the vote, DairyNZ announced on Wednesday.

Of those who voted, 69 percent were in favour of continuing the levy.

"New Zealand's dairy sector is progressive and our farmers have illustrated a clear mandate that they want an industry good organisation which represents and supports them to continue as a successful sector," said Jim van der Poel, chair of DairyNZ. 

"The milksolids levy underpins a wide range of industry good work, including the sector strategy Dairy Tomorrow, and we are pleased this year's levy vote will enable DairyNZ to continue that work on behalf of dairy farmers."

Van der Poel said the final results of the vote would be confirmed later in June, however no significant change to the numbers was expected.

The vote takes place once every six years. 

DairyNZ said a clear indication of farmer support is required for the organisation to make a new levy application to the Minister for Primary Industries to approve the ongoing levy for the next six years.

"Having a farmer mandate gives us a stronger voice when important decisions are underway, where sector feedback can result in significant change," van der Poel said.

Levy-paying farmers contribute 3.6c per kilogram of milksolids (kgMS) produced. 

The levy is used to invest in farm systems, research and development, environmental protection, animal care, biosecurity and supporting the dairy community.