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Honey industry like 'wild west', minister says

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1 hour ago, Bushy said:

 

Making time to talk to you about this system is definitely on my to do list and yes savings of this size can be plowed back to industry good projects, but the base question is still, is the money being requested for AFB and commodity levy affordable for the many beekeepers who do not harvest manuka, and is it money well spent or bureaucratic overkill.

I just think an industry request for $3 to $5 million dollars per annum needs more than a few days (AFB levy) and three months (commodity levy)  to have the proper industry good debate 

Dead right and it really annoys me that when an opportunity comes along for Beeks to save a few dollars, that saving is quickly whisked away under possibly questionable circumstances.

We all work very hard, I personally do huge hours and the bureaucrats should make no mistake, now is not the time to take the p... because we are collectively watching. 


 

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3 minutes ago, Philbee said:

I personally do huge hours

Why ?  I don't know your era, but we only get one shot at this life, why not enjoy it, or are you a workaholic ?

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32 minutes ago, yesbut said:

I have to say all this negativity has made me wonder what I get for my measly two hive's $35.00 . Direct benefit (?) is two copies of the ApiNZ rag.

The only other benefit (?) is I get my hives taken apart every year by the local AP2.

 

I know where you are coming from so I'm not being smart A about this , but having your hives inspected by an AP2 really is worth $35 for your piece of mind and the inevitable 10min advice he provides while he suits up.

Many of us wouldn't know what an AP2 looked like.

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13 minutes ago, Philbee said:

Dead right and it really annoys me that when an opportunity comes along for Beeks to save a few dollars, that saving is quickly whisked away under possibly questionable circumstances.

We all work very hard, I personally do huge hours and the bureaucrats should make no mistake, now is not the time to take the p... because we are collectively watching. 


 

 

So collectively what do we do right now. 10th Aug is deadline for AFB submissions and commodity levy vote is October.

 

I don't know which organisation should be handling this money, are the goals worth this investment, or if I'm right or wrong in my slightly negative frame of mind. And I don't feel the people in Wellington wanting my money actually care. Where to from here.

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1 hour ago, frazzledfozzle said:

The guys that are on manuka won’t feel a thing when it comes to the commodity levy.

But those of us on bush honey will feel it for sure.

it unfair to have one sector of an industry paying a levy ( honey producers)  while another sector pays nothing ( queen rearers, sellers of nucs and hives) 

Why should anyone pay this levy until its at least qualified and quantified (how much and what for)!

The very discussion has the ability to pit different parts of the industry against each other: Don't talk queen rearers verse bush producers; bush producers verse Manuka producers; after the debate is finished the advocates of these fees and levy's will have won the day without rational justification!

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28 minutes ago, Bushy said:

 

I know where you are coming from so I'm not being smart A about this , but having your hives inspected by an AP2 really is worth $35 for your piece of mind and the inevitable 10min advice he provides while he suits up.

Many of us wouldn't know what an AP2 looked like.

I've had bees longer than he has !

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28 minutes ago, Bushy said:

 

So collectively what do we do right now. 10th Aug is deadline for AFB submissions and commodity levy vote is October.

 

I don't know which organisation should be handling this money, are the goals worth this investment, or if I'm right or wrong in my slightly negative frame of mind. And I don't feel the people in Wellington wanting my money actually care. Where to from here.

There is probably not a lot that we can do right now other than make our submissions etc
Then once the lines are drawn and the game starts, go from there.
 
 

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56 minutes ago, yesbut said:

Why ?  I don't know your era, but we only get one shot at this life, why not enjoy it, or are you a workaholic ?

I enjoy my work, Im 54 and will not retire even although I could

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1 hour ago, yesbut said:

I have to say all this negativity has made me wonder what I get for my measly two hive's $35.00 . Direct benefit (?) is two copies of the ApiNZ rag.

The only other benefit (?) is I get my hives taken apart every year by the local AP2.

Do you get one .

I would love to have my hives taken to pieces by a AP2

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14 minutes ago, kaihoka said:

Do you get one .

I would love to have my hives taken to pieces by a AP2

I'm sure you could contact your golden bay guy & bend his arm if you tried hard enough

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If you read through the proposed levy information you will see that apinz will apply a minimum levy fee of $86 to cover the cost of of apinz membership benefits,

so will this mean that I am going to become a member of apinz by virtue of paying this levy? 

I do not want to become a member of apinz , I do not like the way apinz is set up , it is no longer an organisation that truly represents the traditional beekeeping entities out there.

Apinz appears more interested in representing the new corporate style entities as well landowners, ex fed farmers exec members and all of the new people jumping on the manuka bandwagon rather than looking after the businesses that made it possible for beekeeping in NZ to be where it is today. 

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8 hours ago, olbe said:

If you read through the proposed levy information you will see that apinz will apply a minimum levy fee of $86 to cover the cost of of apinz membership benefits,

so will this mean that I am going to become a member of apinz by virtue of paying this levy? 

I do not want to become a member of apinz , I do not like the way apinz is set up , it is no longer an organisation that truly represents the traditional beekeeping entities out there.

Apinz appears more interested in representing the new corporate style entities as well landowners, ex fed farmers exec members and all of the new people jumping on the manuka bandwagon rather than looking after the businesses that made it possible for beekeeping in NZ to be where it is today. 

 

You are correct. The commodity levy would become a legal tax on honey for every beekeeper/honey producer in NZ regardless weather you are a member of NZ Beekeeping Inc,. Apnz, or no membership at all.

 

Unless changes can be made to commodity levy order, all money will be collected by ApiNZ, and in return they will "give" you ApiNZ membership.

To prove to the minister that this is not forcing people to become a member of ApiNZ, you can leave your money behind and sign out of the "free" membership of ApiNZ.

 

We all know in reality once you have paid a lot of money you will stay connected to have a say where your money is spent, so you are now by default a ApiNZ member. But remember you were not forced to stay.

 

You decide weather this is a synical play on becoming the only industry body in NZ, and controlling a substantial amount of money.

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12 hours ago, yesbut said:

I'm sure you could contact your golden bay guy & bend his arm if you tried hard enough

How does one find one .

Is there a register .

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A

1 minute ago, kaihoka said:

How does one find one .

Is there a register .

Ask Asure Quality or the afb agency.

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Another way to view these proposed Levies/ Taxes as as a Catalyst for action.
Possibly the most powerful tool the industry has coming are AFB Dogs, and if the industry at a Beekeeper level can develop and utilize this area of potential effectively then we may have a chance to head off the Bureaucrats in the medium term.

The risk of course is that once an income stream / career opportunity presents itself for a demograph it can be very difficult to undo that structure
However by keeping records, building protocol's, and taking a leadership roll in developing the dogs and along the way continually reminding and demonstrating to the bureaucratic system that we are on it and making gains, it may be possible to shrink their roll,  territory and cost to that of the urban environment.
 Its a difficult path but probably the only viable option because in my view it is highly unlikely that any amount of money and or Policies even in the hands of capable external entities will be able to deal with the AFB problem.
 

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A catalyst for action. Yes! I think it should be a catalyst for all beekeepers to take action to pull in this burgeoning want to be controlling body that intends draining the pockets of the smaller operators while looking out for the interests of the large operators and down stream profit taking packers and marketers/exporters.

All in all the proposed levies/fees are a full on hijack of almost every possible source of funding for the industry good (they may also achieve a hijack of Govt funding yet too).

It will create a wonderful empire for a few 'professional class' with wonderful salaries and amenities for those involved.

The benefits to the grass root producers is so far totally invisible and frankly unlikely given the current proposals.

The tools for AFB control largely exist and are known, dogs being just another tool albeit an expensive option. Honey testing and traceability along with more feet on the ground (not management structure) would be a good starter.

I think there is a turning point appearing, the death knell of the smaller operator rears it's head!

Rein them in folks! Before they bolt!

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16 hours ago, Bighands said:

Damien has known the beekeeping industry was so disgointed for a long time.I have lots of talks with him as to how to get everyone talking to each other.I still do not know how to do this.

Theoretically opinions are the way people communicate; if someone hasn't an opinion well what's the point in saying anything! Therefor communication is going to lead to disagreement as  opinions will vary!

Having people voicing opposing opinions in a diverse industry such as beekeeping does not mean the industry's disjointed; Damien and anyone else must watch they don't let industry groups lean on them to hard with their 'Opinions'!

A perceptive and good politician will listen to all sides equally!!

Damien and Karen seem to be bound together (singing from the same sound sheet) in this press release (for our benefit???)

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The fonterra of the bee business.

Next step it to make sure we comply we must sell all honey to them.

It will be in the industries best interests of course although we will need to fund the selling of your honey so the levy we already have will need to go up the two supermarket chains have agreed to buy it at a good low price so we can concentrate on Manuka.

Funny thing is people where saying that this would happen a the birth of apiculture NZ and they got shot down

Edited by glynn
My 2c
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47 minutes ago, Ali said:

A catalyst for action. Yes! I think it should be a catalyst for all beekeepers to take action to pull in this burgeoning want to be controlling body that intends draining the pockets of the smaller operators while looking out for the interests of the large operators and down stream profit taking packers and marketers/exporters.

All in all the proposed levies/fees are a full on hijack of almost every possible source of funding for the industry good (they may also achieve a hijack of Govt funding yet too).

It will create a wonderful empire for a few 'professional class' with wonderful salaries and amenities for those involved.

The benefits to the grass root producers is so far totally invisible and frankly unlikely given the current proposals.

The tools for AFB control largely exist and are known, dogs being just another tool albeit an expensive option. Honey testing and traceability along with more feet on the ground (not management structure) would be a good starter.

I think there is a turning point appearing, the death knell of the smaller operator rears it's head!

Rein them in folks! Before they bolt!

This issues far from easy to rationalise: APINZ may well prove to be the best thing since sliced bread. BUT: I don't like the style of communication/propaganda which I feel oozes from this press release i.e.

  1. The Minister states the industry's 'The Wild West!'
  2. Karan replies APNZ's the beekeeping equivalent of 'Wyatt Earp' and we're gunna clean this here industry up
  3. Then the minister throws his hands in the air and miraculously agrees to back good old Wyatt

Maybe I'm just a gnarled old cynic but this seems stage managed and doesn't sit well with me!

 

And then hey: APINZ don't represent the whole commercial sector!!!!!

 

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3 minutes ago, Frederick said:

And then hey: APINZ don't represent the whole commercial sector!!!!!

Just for clarity do we have the figures for just how many of the hives (and beeks) they do formally represent by paid up membership?

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57 minutes ago, glynn said:

The fonterra of the bee business.

Next step it to make sure we comply we must sell all honey to them.

It will be in the industries best interests of course although we will need to fund the selling of your honey so the levy we already have will need to go up the two supermarket chains have agreed to buy it at a good low price so we can concentrate on Manuka.

Funny thing is people where saying that this would happen a the birth of apiculture NZ and they got shot down

Would agree it seems to have been their agenda; but lets not get carried away maybe they are the best option to represent the industry moving forward.

They have after all conceded to have 5/9th commercial representation on the board should the levy come into being as the sector will be paying the piper!

However to get me listening I'd want to see this represented by levy contributions split as follows: 5/9th Commercial: 3/9th  Market: 1/9th Hobbyists and hey 'then I'm only listening'.

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At the conference it was all presented as a done Deal, and then a disclaimer that of course it’s up to the beekeepers. At felt a bit amway like to me. 

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33 minutes ago, Ali said:

Just for clarity do we have the figures for just how many of the hives (and beeks) they do formally represent by paid up membership?

No.  And they cheat a bit.  Our bee Club belongs to ApiNZ and we have 170 members.  ApiNZ claims they represent all those 170 beeks yet in real terms they only represent the club itself.

All other clubs in the country are in a similar situation.  I believe the actual membership of APiNZ is around the 600-700 mark and NZ Beekeeping has around 500 members.  How many hives this represents is unknown.

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Just now, nikki watts said:

At the conference it was all presented as a done Deal, and then a disclaimer that of course it’s up to the beekeepers. At felt a bit amway like to me. 

Yes the Minister and APINZ seem do be dancing together and softening up the industry for the inevitable.

 

The question the industry has to ask itself is are we going to let them waltz off into the sunset or are we going to ensure there's justification for their predetermined position and adequate alternatives considered (by the industry; not just APINZ and the Minister) 

 

One alternative that must be considered is: No Damn Levy!

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Yes. I had one beek I know tell me that their budget for admin is around 50% of income. Feels like us beeks are providing a good salary for a few people.

I noticed in the budget the independent chair gets 50k, then there Karen’s salary which obviously  wasn’t disclosed.

I was impressed by The board members who only get 5k and then only if they meet budget. I believe they really are there for the good of the industry. The high salary earners I’m not so sure about. I know you have to pay market rates to have these executives but we all work dam hard, I’m sure for a lot less than them. 

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