Australian pig farmers endorse increase in pig slaughter levy
At the industry Annual General Meeting in Canberra yesterday, Australian pig farmers endorsed the proposal to increase the pig slaughter levy by 90 cents.
The pig slaughter levy funds are collected from producers to support the peak industry body Australian Pork Limited (APL) undertake Marketing, Research and Development and Policy activities on behalf of the industry. The proposed increase would effectively take the total slaughter levy allocated to APL from $2.35 per pig slaughtered to $3.25.
Currently the levy received by APL, via the Federal Government, is split $1.00 for Research and Development (R&D) and $1.35 for Marketing. The proposed increase is only relevant for the Marketing portion of the levy and will increase that part of the levy to $2.25.
APL CEO Andrew Spencer said today’s affirmative vote by industry is an important step in the process to obtain a levy increase. The industry has not had an increase since 1994.
“The vote outcome will now be taken to the Federal Government through an industry submission. The government assesses all proposals to increase a levy against the same principles applicable to the initiation of a new levy.
“The proposed change must be supported by levy payers and by the government in the public interest. The initiator of the change, in this case APL, must establish the case for change and where an increase is involved, must estimate the additional amount to be raised. APL must then indicate, through a business case, how the increase would be spent and demonstrate the proposed benefit of this expenditure for levy payers.”
Pork producers agreed for the increase to occur over three tranches.The first stage of the levy increase to be $0.30 would come into effect from around 1 July 2012. The second stage is proposed to be an additional $0.30 and would come into effect from 1 July 2014; and the third and final stage $0.30 would take effect from 1 July 2016.
The ballot by industry was conducted by the independent agency, the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC), and followed extensive consultation with levy payers and key stakeholders over the past seven months.
After broad industry consultation, 235 producers, accounting for 83 per cent of eligible levies, voted on the levy proposal. Of those votes placed, 73 per cent were in favour of an increase and 27 per cent voted against.
Mr Spencer said today’s voting outcome will certainly be the key element in APL’s business case to government for a levy increase to occur.