United industry essential during challenging times

Posted on Friday, May 13, 2016 - Category: In the News

The past few weeks have presented unprecedented step-downs and claw backs to many farmers. The decisions made by our major processors are extremely disappointing and many farmers must now make difficult decisions about how to best navigate the current market conditions and support their farm.

Across the industry farmers are angry – and they have every right to be. The situation processors have put them in is completely unacceptable. Farmers are resilient and they love what they do. But they need certainty to be able to plan and to be able to trust that the prices they are budgeting on are realistic.

Australian Dairy Farmers (ADF) is working hard on behalf of farmers to signpost help for the short term and find solutions for the long term. This includes:

  • Listening to farmers to make sure we understand what they need most right now. We are working across the industry with our state farming members as well as national service provider Dairy Australia to deliver support, whether it be one-to-one financial guidance or mental health services.
  • Talking to processors, to urge them to help suppliers understand the implications for their businesses and to be accountable for this decision. ADF is pressing the manufacturers to provide early price forecasting. Farmers cannot plan for their businesses without reliable forecasting.
  • Making daily contact with both sides of Parliament, to explain the current and future challenges farmers face, and to seek commitments for targeted assistance.

There are no easy solutions to the challenges we face, but we are examining all options and are considering innovative solutions to build an industry with a stable, long-term future.

Central to this is finding ways to better manage price volatility across the sector, and urging processors to give greater certainty about milk price in a fair timeframe.

The support of government will be essential in better understanding the current situation and in delivering an effective response. As an industry, we need to ensure that we are realistic in expectations and that the solutions we put to them are in the best interests of our farmers and our communities for the long-term.

Our first priority is to provide practical support for farmers facing difficult decisions right now, to ensure that they can take control of their situation and make the best choice for their business and family.

Now is the time for our industry to unite, support one another through the tough times, and collectively consider innovative and practical solutions to help us achieve our vision of sustainable profitability.

Simone Jolliffe

ADF President

For information on programs available through Dairy Australia to help you through the short term challenges click here


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