I would like to express an opposing position on the Ambrosia levy.
This levy was well run and accomplished its purpose. It is time to end it. Like all levies of this type, there is a risk of it becoming a never-ending tax on growers. I do not believe that the sale and pricing of Ambrosia will suffer in any way by the removal of levy funds. Marketers, wholesalers and retailers are quite capable of running their own promotional programs if they need to increase Ambrosia sales. This is usually accomplished with specials.
Ambrosias have become an entrenched variety in the apple industry worldwide. There is no need to use funds to gain market acceptance any longer. A large part of levy funds go to BC Tree Fruits. If they need promotional funds, they should take it from their own growers’ product and not as an industry wide levy. This would free money to be used however they feel is in their best interest instead requiring acceptance by the Ambrosia committee. Cawston Cold Storage is prepared to act in this manner.
Even if plantings of Ambrosia should increase dramatically in the next five years, I am quite confident that this variety can hold its own in the marketplace. In the end, this money is simply best left in the pocket of growers I would ask all Ambrosia growers to take the time to vote “no” to extending the Ambrosia levy.
Billy Potash — sales and marketing Cawston Cold Storage Ltd.