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16/12/2009

Growers support grape levy

New Zealand’s commercial winegrape growers have backed the continuation of the levy on winegrapes in a recent vote on the issue.

In the vote, conducted every six years pursuant to the Commodity Levies Act 1990, continuation of the levy was supported by 86.7% of grower voters by number and 88.7% by value of levies paid in the June year ending 2009.

The levy currently collects just under $2 million per annum and funds industry activities conducted by the New Zealand Grape Growers Council Incorporated through to New Zealand Winegrowers.

This is the third vote to support the grape levy which has been in place since 1993.

New Zealand Grape Growers Council president and New Zealand Winegrowers chair Stuart Smith says he is delighted with the result.

“To garner this level of support from growers in such tough economic times is a very pleasing result," he said.

"The strong backing from growers means we will be able to continue to service their needs particularly in areas such as research, sustainability and information provision.”

New Zealand wineries will vote on the continuation of the wine levy during 2010.

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