Urgent action needed for dairy farmers
NSW Farmers says now is the time for the industry to be exploring all options to support the dairy farmers.
This week the Senate debated the Protecting Australian Dairy Bill 2019, which sought to establish a minimum price for milk. The Bill did not pass the Senate, after being voted down 31-30.
NSW Farmers Dairy Committee Chair Colin Thompson says the industry needs to look at all options and find a way to get farmers better returns.
“Urgent action is required to help farmers cope with the devastating drought and restore a properly functioning market.”
“As feed and water costs continue to soar, milk prices remain relatively unchanged or have only had minimal increases.”
“The NSW dairy industry has lost another 51 farmers in the last 12 months and production is down 7% on this time last year. We cannot let this continue to occur and action is needed.”
“We believe that a regional floor price or a levy on all dairy products are options that need to be investigated. We feel it would be unwise to reject any offer of support at this time.
“Our preference would be for the retailers to recognise the dire situation of the industry and increase the price of their milk to $1.50 per litre."
“This increase would put the industry back to pre-$1 litre pricing, when inflation increases over the eight years are considered."
Mr Thompson says he recognises that both short and longer terms strategies are needed to get the NSW dairy industry on a sustainable footing.
“In the short term we need to get a cash injection back to farmers to get them through this drought.”
“Our longer term strategy is to get a fair market operating for dairy farmers. The benefits of competitive markets have not been passed onto dairy farmers and these structural flaws need to be fixed."
Date: Thursday 14 November 2019
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