Farmers vote yes on sheepmeat and beef levies

// B+LNZ

Farmers have had their say in the 2021 sheepmeat and beef levy referendum and those farmers that voted have overwhelmingly supported the continuation of the sheepmeat and beef levies.

image of farming family

A proposed increase in the sheepmeat levy from 1 October 2021 was also backed by farmers.

The Declaration of Result from independent Returning Officer Warwick Lampp of was released today.

It showed 89.8 percent of farmers voted in favour of the sheepmeat levy on a one farmer, one vote basis, with support of 92.0 percent on a weighted stock unit basis.

It also showed 88.1 percent of farmers voted in support of the beef levy on a one farmer, one vote basis, with support of 89.4 percent on a weighted stock unit basis. 

In terms of the proposal to increase the sheepmeat levy from 70 cents to 75 cents, 68.3 percent voted yes on a one farmer, one vote basis, and 70.4 percent voted yes on a weighted stock unit basis.  

34.9 percent of farmers on the electoral roll voted. It equates to 5,295 participants and by livestock represents:

  • 54 percent of National Sheep Numbers
  • 43 percent of National Beef Cattle Numbers
  • 16 percent of National Dairy Cattle Numbers 

Beef + Lamb New Zealand Chairman Andrew Morrison said the result showed farmers valued the work of B+LNZ.

“Now more than ever, farmers need a strong voice representing their interests domestically and internationally, positioning our product with consumers, and providing them with the support they need on-farm to run more sustainable and profitable businesses.”

“We’re very pleased with the result particularly given the amount of farmer concern out there about the wave of regulation coming at them. I’d like to thank everyone who had their say and for giving us a mandate. 

“The result validates what we’re doing, and it was heartening to hear from farmers during our recent roadshow that there’s a lot they like – especially around our farming excellence work and programmes such as Taste Pure Nature.

“Farmers strongly endorsed B+LNZ’s role in advocacy, but we also heard loud and clear from them that there’s a lot of frustration out there about the scale and pace of regulatory change and they want us to fight as hard as we can on their behalf, working more closely with Federated Farmers and DairyNZ in responding to this. I can assure farmers we are taking this on board.”

The result on the sheepmeat levy increase was also encouraging, Morrison said. 

“We’re pleased that farmers have taken the information on board and seen why we need this increase.”

Morrison said he had informed Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor of the result and B+LNZ would be applying to the Minister/ry for new levy orders that would run for six years from when the new levy order becomes effective.

For media enquiries, contact Sam Halstead on 027 474 6065.

Notes to editor 

2015 results 

  • Sheepmeat levy: 84.6% one farmer, one vote.  86.0% weighted vote.
  • Beef levy: 84.7% one farmer, one vote.  84.6% weighted vote. 

The voting return percentage was 38.0%, representing the following:

  • 58 percent of National Sheep Numbers 
  • 47 percent of National Beef Cattle Numbers 
  • 15 percent of National Dairy Cattle Numbers