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Frederick

Back the truck up APINZ

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Having been posting on the forums re: APINZ’s desire to represent the industry and claim a Commodity Levy (to cover their work on the industry’s behalf)  I decided rather than continuing to spout my own thoughts I’d get on the blower and talk to a number of Commercial Beekeepers and see where the Commercial Sector really stands.

I put together a simple survey and started ringing: I thought I’d do it over a couple of days and get representations from beekeepers keeping up to approx. 20,000 hives.

Well a week later and I’ve spoken to a good many Commercial Beekeepers all whom have been happy to answer my queries/survey:

They represent:

  • Beekeepers:      36

  • Hives No’s:         73955

  • Apiaries:              3488      

  • Hive range:        200 – 9000

Note: The beekeepers polled covered a good many areas of the North Island with a handful from the South

The survey was simple:

  1. Did you attend the Conference

Yes:       9                         No:         27

  1. Do you know about the APINZ proposal re: collecting a Commodity Levy on Honey

     

                     Yes:       32                           No:         4

     

    1. Do you support it

       

           Yes:       3                              No:         33

       

    2. Reasons for your position:  

       

      As below (Note some comments are combined and some beekeepers didn’t elaborate /give specifics)

       

  1. APINZ don't represent or listen to commercial beekeepers: They're dividing and conquering

  2. Poor timing for new or increased levy's

  3. APINZ aren't relevant to the commercial sector / don't represent the beekeepers on the ground

  4. Proposed levy unfair on beekeepers producing lower priced honeys

  5. Support levy's for R&D, marketing and industry good but aren't convinced APINZ are the ones to do it

  6. If levy fly's should be based on sales not volume and catch all sectors incl pollination and queen rearing

  7. Can’t see value for money and additionally we're to become APINZ's tax collectors and law enforcers

  8. APINZ need to show structured and defined proposals / budgets and more than cursory liaison with commercial sector to be considered

  9. APINZ need to present Budgets / KPI's / Specific Aims before asking for consideration

  10. APINZ need to represent the commercial sector more directly to be considered

  11. Same #### different day!

  12. Support at 5c not 10c: Would like to see work on protecting brand 'Manuka' and dealing with the C4 issue

  13. No contact / no introduction / no idea who APINZ really are or what they intend to do

  14. If we need a levy ('If' being the operative word) it should be controlled by an independent board / authority.

  15. Hard for non-manuka producers to afford: Needs better explaining to be considered

  16. Absolutely not! Don't want this

  17. Resent APINZ meddling in the industry and looking for money to throw at issues? Seen it before and sick of it!

  18. APINZ short on details

  19. Too much / too big of an increase and can't see the benefits

  20. Don't consider APINZ have exhibited support and input for the commercial sector

  21. Could be convinced

  22. APINZ not favouring the commercial sector and don't have a mandate

  23. Real issues around APINZ budgeting; the collection of the levy and the compulsion to pay and join APINZ

  24. Absolutely object to having to collect any levy at extraction: Will actively not-collect!

  25. Unless a co-operative won't work been through this in other industry's

  26. Not in its current form: Not at the moment

  27. Don't really know what it's for: Don't see the value: Would need way more details

  28. On the fence: not happy for other groups to take over APINZ

  29. Feel we're paying enough already

  30. Support a Levy but with independent management (Not APINZ)

NOTE: I’d have liked to have continued talking to even more beekeepers but quite bluntly I’ve got to get a bit of work done!

I’ve previously said on these forums that APINZ should park up their Commodity Levy aspirations and get out and engage with the Commercial Sector and win their support; If they can’t or won’t do this then they have no place in representing themselves to the Crown as the representative body of the Industry.

MESSAGE TO APINZ:

Forget quoting vague majorities (re: hive holdings) as over 90% of the beekeepers I polled don’t won’t you representing them at this juncture: If you don’t believe me get on the phone and talk to them; almost all would welcome your call and be pleased to talk to you.

You were born out of a desire from many to unify the Industry (inclusive the writer): If you feel you’ve got the goods engage with and then win the hearts and minds of the Commercial Sector (on the beat, on the phone, one to one or group meeting), and frankly while you’ll never satisfy everyone or win everyone over if you exhibit the will to engage with the engine room of the Industry and earn their trust, backing and a mandate I’ll undoubtedly come on board as well: If not the Commercial Sector needs to look elsewhere for representation!

 

Additional survey notes:

  1. Not one of the surveyed beekeepers backed the (defunct) rise in the AFB Levy with the negative feedback for the current service being universal and scathing: Additionally there were some pearls/bloody good ideas for improving things bandied around!

     

  2. There was also a lot of unsure comments and discussion re: the proposed GIA Levy: Plenty of dialogue/discussion required on this one before it fly’s!

     

Cheers: Keith ‘Frederick’ Rodie

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Mark Goodwill spoke at our Hamilton meeting

As I understood it described how Australia was funding his work for the benefit of Australia.
There were also individual  discussions before and after the meeting about the sophistication and momentum of the Australian industry.
Just one of the many risks in front of us is the likelihood of the New Zealand Apiculture industry following the model of the Middle East.
Splintered, Occupied, Disenfranchised, War torn and ultimately Defeated.
  

Edited by Philbee
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Hey Keith, 

Thanks for your work.

Kind regards

Bron, Graeme & @Daley

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2 hours ago, Philbee said:

Mark Goodwill spoke at our Hamilton meeting

As I understood it described how Australia was funding his work for the benefit of Australia.
There were also individual  discussions before and after the meeting about the sophistication and momentum of the Australian industry.
Just one of the many risks in front of us is the likelihood of the New Zealand Apiculture industry following the model of the Middle East.
Splintered, Occupied, Disenfranchised, War torn and ultimately Defeated.
  

Hey lets not portray the NZ Industry as anything other than what it is: Trying to find it's feet on a number of issues! Maybe its all well overdue but we're definitely not [..Splintered, Occupied, Disenfranchised, War torn and ultimately Defeated...]. We punch above our weight internationally, have a marvellous Manuka side to the Industry, are engaging in our discussion and debate and are ultimately grownup enough to say we don't like what's been proposed and suggest a rework and relook at things from different angles.

 

Let's be positive and embrace small business and family based industry we should be proud of!!

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Don't think that based on the discussion here and elsewhere that many are prepared to lie down & roll over.

 

This is the industry that chose us, and consequently we chose. I'm quite ready to argue for the lifestyle we've got.

 

I love my bees, I get to drive round in small trucks checking out the countryside (checking what's flowering) talking to great farmers & bee hosts & do a job that makes me happy to bee alive.

 

Change is inevitable, being part of it is better than it being forced apon you.

 

The powers that be obviously never had Grannies that told them, "You catch more bees with honey, than vinegar!"

 

 

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20 minutes ago, Frederick said:

Hey lets not portray the NZ Industry as anything other than what it is: Trying to find it's feet on a number of issues! Maybe its all well overdue but we're definitely not [..Splintered, Occupied, Disenfranchised, War torn and ultimately Defeated...]. We punch above our weight internationally, have a marvellous Manuka side to the Industry, are engaging in our discussion and debate and are ultimately grownup enough to say we don't like what's been proposed and suggest a rework and relook at things from different angles.

 

Let's be positive and embrace small business and family based industry we should be proud of!!

Have you read your own survey?

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7 minutes ago, Philbee said:

Have you read your own survey?

Thanks for the re-quote Philbee and yes if I was prepared to accept the negative side of things I suggest you would have a point, however the majority of beekeepers I spoke to were prepared to discuss/look at backing the funding of R & D and other forms of industry good initiatives.

 

However if you want to lead the way you can't sit back in your glass castle and expect the masses to come to you and hear you preach: If you want to lead you've got to get out there and do it: Actions speaks louder than words and have a damn site better chance of creating unity and an obvious way forward!

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9 hours ago, Frederick said:

Thanks for the re-quote Philbee and yes if I was prepared to accept the negative side of things I suggest you would have a point, however the majority of beekeepers I spoke to were prepared to discuss/look at backing the funding of R & D and other forms of industry good initiatives.

 

However if you want to lead the way you can't sit back in your glass castle and expect the masses to come to you and hear you preach: If you want to lead you've got to get out there and do it: Actions speaks louder than words and have a damn site better chance of creating unity and an obvious way forward!

I see two elephants in your room, both related.

It would appear that many Beeks while open to a levy of some sort do not want ApiNZ to be involved with it.
Who then do they want? and who is putting up their hand with a credible realistic alternative?

Second Elephant is that New Zealand Beekeeping are not putting their hand up for the job.

From what I understood of Russell Berry's comments on Wednesday in Hamilton, Russell is suggesting  a seat on the Board of ApiNZ for New Zealand Beekeeping ( and please comment anyone who interpreted Russell's  words differently).
 

With regard to Actions speaking louder than words, I would suggest that from my point of view, that is someone who has no agenda and is prepared to watch and listen, my view is that ApiNZ is all about "Action" and their Roadshow is a part of that Action.
They certainly are not sitting back in their glass castle
These are my objective observations and to be frank and for the record, Id like to see Russell Berry in a power seat for as long as he is able, however what would be intolerable is a Governing Body that in itself was unstable due to opposing agendas continually threatening to tear it apart.

 
 

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6 hours ago, Philbee said:

I see two elephants in your room, both related.

It would appear that many Beeks while open to a levy of some sort do not want ApiNZ to be involved with it.
Who then do they want? and who is putting up their hand with a credible realistic alternative?

Second Elephant is that New Zealand Beekeeping are not putting their hand up for the job.

From what I understood of Russell Berry's comments on Wednesday in Hamilton, Russell is suggesting  a seat on the Board of ApiNZ for New Zealand Beekeeping ( and please comment anyone who interpreted Russell's  words differently).
 

With regard to Actions speaking louder than words, I would suggest that from my point of view, that is someone who has no agenda and is prepared to watch and listen, my view is that ApiNZ is all about "Action" and their Roadshow is a part of that Action.
They certainly are not sitting back in their glass castle
These are my objective observations and to be frank and for the record, Id like to see Russell Berry in a power seat for as long as he is able, however what would be intolerable is a Governing Body that in itself was unstable due to opposing agendas continually threatening to tear it apart.

 
 

Firstly I’m unaligned secondly; I have an agenda: The agenda is to ensure we have strong credible governance/industry good body that has the backing and mandate of the commercial sector.

My enquiries weren’t designed to prove anyone right or wrong but purely and simply to ascertain what the grassroots attitude are to the proposals currently on the table.

Some conversations were lengthy with extensive ideas and attitudes to the fore.

Further points:

  1. Regardless of what proposal or organisation is put forward a small but prevalent percentage won’t be in favour: That’s life and shouldn’t derail those putting themselves and their ideas forward

     

  2. Judging by the lack of backing and contact with APINZ the “sitting back in their glass house’ comment while figurative is spot on the nail.

     

  3. The majority of beekeepers I spoke to don’t have an allegiance with, nor contact with, nor a relationship with APINZ.

     

  4. I didn’t ask whether they were members of APINZ but the two that volunteered the fact didn’t support the Levy proposal.

     

  5. APINZ have misread the situation and should urgently ‘Back the Truck Up’ and take a fresh approach to engaging with the Industry they aspire to represent.

     

  6. Running a series of quick-fire ‘Roadshows’ to rubberstamp a predetermined agenda is not effective engagement with the Industry.

     

  7. APINZ may demonstrate ‘Action’ to some but to the majority it is ineffectual:

     

  8. They must revaluate and engage in a meaningful way with the commercial sector or they will achieve little more than drive a wedge between  those backing them and the disenfranchised majority

     

  9. This is not ‘bickering and infighting’ as you need to engage with people to achieve this: This is a constructive way forward to achieve democratic industry representation

     

The Commercial Sectors full of good people who are happy to contribute to the industry, to R & D and to industry good projects but they need to be consulted and involved to participate and above all their concerns and ideas need to be assimilated into planning the way forward.

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Some very good points in there IMO 

I especially agree with number 5.

2 hours ago, Frederick said:

I have an agenda: The agenda is to ensure we have strong credible governance/industry good body that has the backing and mandate of the commercial sector.

What are you proposing as a means to this end

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1 hour ago, Philbee said:

I have an agenda: The agenda is to ensure we have strong credible governance/industry good body that has the backing and mandate of the commercial sector.

What are you doing to achieve this?

Are you all about talk or do you have a plan?

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2 hours ago, Philbee said:

What are you doing to achieve this?

Are you all about talk or do you have a plan?

I suggest by seeking opinions and input from a diverse range of 36 Commercial Beekeepers farming 74000 hives through the country and then posting the results on this forum I've hopefully exhibited a desire to contribute a rational perspective on the current APINZ proposals.

 

I could've sat back and 'watched and listened' and continued to comment from a purely personal perspective but I didn't see that going anywhere nor contributing to the overall issue! OK putting the above post up may well have opened me up for criticism but I see it as purely positive from all angles!

 

There's no Elephants in the room with this forum I'm just attempting to bring the widely felt shortcomings in APINZ's proposals into the open: Do I have a cunning plan, well read between the lines and you'll see it's mostly sitting in front of you.

 

My suggestions being APINZ:

  • Listen to the message below (as posted above):     

MESSAGE TO APINZ:

Forget quoting vague majorities (re: hive holdings) as over 90% of the beekeepers I polled don’t want you representing them at this juncture: If you don’t believe me get on the phone and talk to them; almost all would welcome your call and be pleased to talk to you.

You were born out of a desire from many to unify the Industry (inclusive the writer): If you feel you’ve got the goods engage with and then win the hearts and minds of the Commercial Sector (on the beat, on the phone, one to one or group meeting), and frankly while you’ll never satisfy everyone or win everyone over if you exhibit the will to engage with the engine room of the Industry and earn their trust, backing and a mandate I’ll undoubtedly come on board as well: If not the Commercial Sector needs to look elsewhere for representation.

 

In my opinion APINZ ultimately have the structure and the organisation to represent the Industry but they’ve dropped the ball and overlooked the individuals that make up the Commercial Sector.

While your post is the first I’ve heard of it I’d love nothing more than Russell and NZ Beekeepers Incorporated to integrate with APINZ along with the other breakaway groups but again (in my opinion) the commercial sectors looking for 'representation with attitude' focused predominantly on ‘the engine room’ of the Industry ‘the commercial sector’!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Frederick
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OK guys ... lets all take a holiday, step back and think about what we need individually as a business to progress to making a profit.  After all, that is what we are in business for, and if our umbrella orginisations can't deliver that, well why have   them . It's as simple as that. If APINZ contributes nothing to our bottom line, we're better off to look at plan B. I'm still working on plan B after 25 years. No amount of levies and regulations has made  ME better off. Dare I say it, but all it has done is fuel a limited few's ego's.

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Among the number who say they dont mind the idea of a levy but dont think ApiNz are the ones to control it, could it be that a number, large or small are putting up a smoke screen?

Could it be that behind that smoke screen is a desire to exist under the Status Quo

Could this Status Quo be something like the Wild West that the Minister has described?

Just asking  the question

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17 minutes ago, Philbee said:

Among the number who say they dont mind the idea of a levy but dont think ApiNz are the ones to control it, could it be that a number, large or small are putting up a smoke screen?

Could it be that behind that smoke screen is a desire to exist under the Status Quo

Could this Status Quo be something like the Wild West that the Minister has described?

Just asking  the question

To quote the Minister (per: RNZ article)

"I think this is the wild west of the primary sector, they've grown very very quickly ... and it hasn't always been in a sensible or rational way.

"I think if you've got over-stocking and you've got bees that are hungry and not being fed properly, or not being fed the right stuff ... then that's not good," he said.

To quote APINZ (per: RNZ article)

Apiculture New Zealand is seeking feedback on whether to introduce a commodity levy on honey, which Ms Kos said would help manage and leverage rapid industry growth.

 

To be fair I don't think the Ministers input has any relevance to the Industry and while APINZ may have convinced the Minister a levy would ensure they could [...help manage and leverage rapid industry growth...] they are yet to convince the Commercial Sector who I suggest have no idea what that means!. Refer above: Message to APINZ

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7 hours ago, Frederick said:

 leverage rapid industry growth...

Can someone tell me exactly what this means please ? No wild guesses, I want to KNOW. 

Edited by yesbut
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13 minutes ago, yesbut said:

Can someone tell me exactly what this means please ? No wild guesses, I want to KNOW. 

It could mean exploit the resources to the max , like the dairy industry has.

An educated guess.

 

 

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It means you use an existing resource to create /manage a larger one

 

When you borrow 100k with a 10k deposit, you are leveraging.

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1 hour ago, kaihoka said:

It could mean exploit the resources to the max , like the dairy industry has.

An educated guess.

 

 

 

I’d argue that they have gone beyond the max.

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58 minutes ago, Philbee said:

It means you use an existing resource to create /manage a larger one

As a definition that makes sense. I'm not sure about the applicability to apiculture at present. May be better applied to growing Apinz rather than the industry. I think "leverage" is shiny bum speak.

 

1 hour ago, Philbee said:

When you borrow 100k with a 10k deposit, you are leveraging.

Sure, that's the usual example.

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Funny, not funny, I got out of teaching to avoid the ministry's use of the latest "buzz" words, the incessant meetings where we were talked at and not listened to & the reams and reams of paperwork to appease with little or no relevance to the chalk face. 

 

My eyes are glazing over again! 

 

Honestly, I just wanna go play with our beeses, not play politics.

 

 

Edited by Bron
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20 minutes ago, cBank said:

 

I’d argue that they have gone beyond the max.

 

An interesting statistic is crop per hive.

prior to about 2012 the long term average was quoted around 30kg per hive nationally. While this number had some faults in calculation, it was pretty accurate. It was generally one crop and some Beekeepers added pollination to their mix.

Now a lot of hives in both islands are chasing two or three crops per year (which should push the average through the roof) yet ApiNZ are stating they expect average in 2019 to be around 22kg per hive per annum for their levy calculation.

 

I don't need to spend $800000 per year in levy money on research to show that something is wrong in how we run our bees in 2018.

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I was talking about cows, but it applies to bees too, though that’s harder to criticise for me, as I’m pet of the problem.

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Thank you @Frederick for the effort you have put into contacting Commercial beekeepers and for the feedback you have provided. Solid information on the attitudes of other beekeepers is critically important for future decision making in the industry. Stating the obvious perhaps, but this is I believe, where ApiNZ are failing.

 

I too hoped that a single representative industry body would provide a vehicle for cohesive industry growth. A body that would reinforce the need for good beekeeping ethics, disseminate information and ultimately act to manage revenue streams for industry good. Now I fear that we have another quasi-representative organisation that really does not have a mandate to act.

 

Surely those ApiNZ board members who are long time commercial beekeepers understand the need to gain grassroots support before trying foist another cost onto the sector. I understand that is why these regional meetings are being held, to gauge support or otherwise for the proposal, but perhaps going forward it would be better to survey the beekeeping community first and then develop proposals from the response.

 

On 17/08/2018 at 5:55 PM, Frederick said:

Additionally there were some pearls/bloody good ideas for improving things bandied around!

Let's get these ideas out into the public forum where we may just find some innovative ways to tackle old problems.

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