Latest blog posts
Tuesday, May 24, 2016
Although Australian Dairy Farmers (ADF) supports any individuals right to peaceful demonstration, ADF is not in any way affiliated with ‘milk rallies’ being held to protest against milk price cuts.
We appreciate that the protestors are passionate about the dairy industry and finding solutions to help the dairy crisis.
However, we do not believe that this action is the best way to support our industry or find solutions to the challenges we face.
The industry has gained good traction so far in highlighting our plight to consumers, government and the wider community. State Governments in Victoria,
South Australia and Tasmania have listened to us as industry leaders, and provided policy responses in recent days and weeks. This has included another
significant announcement in Victoria today.
We are concerned that rallies will create confusion and detract from the main issue: the financial and emotional wellbeing of our dairy farmers.
ADF continues to be in discussions with both sides of Federal Government on a support package which can be rolled out across the country to affected dairy
farmers. Our goal is this: to advocate on behalf of farmers to get immediate support and prevent the issue from occurring in future.
A rally won’t provide this.
A 50c levy would not deliver a solution for our industry on a whole as it would mean farmers in non-exporting markets (such as Northern NSW, Queensland
and WA) would be subsidising their south-eastern counterparts.
A levy is not viable or practical solution and further to this we have had indications from both sides of government that they would be unlikely to support it.
Friday, May 20, 2016
As debate rages about milk price shock in the public sphere, it is essential that we don’t let the facts about the current challenges our industry is facing go astray.
The decisions made by some major processors, in particular Murray Goulburn and Fonterra, in recent weeks have hit Australian dairy farmers hard.
We can’t change what has happened, but we can work to take charge of the things within our control – that means providing support to equip farmers with the tools they need to help manage their current situation and finding ways to prevent this issue in future.
Australian Dairy Farmers (ADF) in collaboration with state members and Dairy Australia is providing targeted assistance. I encourage you all to take advantage of these resources by contacting your Regional Development Program (RDP).
Industry efforts will continue to support farmers during these challenging times, but in order for farmers to get through the short term ADF is seeking commitments from all parties to back our farmers during this financial crisis.
Ongoing discussion with all political parties, both state and national has delivered positive commitments from State government, particularly in Victoria and South Australia, to help farmers continue to operate.
We have met with Federal politicians this week to discuss support measures we need here and now, including one off grants for dairy farmers in exceptional circumstances, increased funding for the Rural Financial Counselling resources and streamlining access to existing government programs. A bipartisan approach to these solutions is essential.
Our priority remains delivering support for the short term but that doesn’t mean we aren’t considering solutions to prevent this issue from occurring again.
ADF has always advocated that there needs to be a better balance between retailers, processors and farmers. We are working with the Australian Competition
and Consumer Commission (ACCC) to address these concerns. We were pleased to see that the ACCC’s Agricultural Engagement Unit heeded our call to investigate
the processors actions in recent weeks and we will assist with that investigation where possible.
ADF is working with financial institutions to ensure farmers are treated fairly. The ANZ’s announcement is very encouraging, and we are confident other
banks will take a balanced approach, if not provide a similar assistance package.
Farmers have been hit with a number of challenges but with the resilience we know this industry has, and the right support we will work through this and build a stronger future.
Friday, May 13, 2016
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
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.
For information on programs available through Dairy Australia to help you through the short term challenges click here.