Tag Archives: dairy

Dairy Farmers in Victoria cannot afford to feed their cows because of the drought. So what is the Government doing about it?

What is the “intent” of our governments as they continue to compromise Australian farmers’ and businesses’ capacity to create wealth and reinvest here? The Weekend Australian identified Victorian dairy farmers’ plight during a drought which has impacted the largest dairy producing areas in Australia. The Victorian Government has said they have to have a two year drought before they are entitled to help. Mother Nature is harsh, but dairy farmers are not being paid enough to cover their costs, hemmed in by rising energy and water costs aided by carbon tax imposts. Add to that Coles sell milk for $1lt compared to bottles of water for $2.50 for 350ml. Where is the justice in that?  This also puts great pressure on the Australian dairy processors who use Australian milk, and do not want to source off shore.

The Farmer Power Group that formed in Victoria earlier this year had already raised the issue of declining on-farm income and rising debt. The Victorian and Federal Governments were obviously not listening.

In addition,  last year the Victorian government allowed the Chinese to buy the Victorian Dairy Research Centre and allowed them to outbid the dairy farmers by just $10K as the farmers stretched their bid using their own money.  The centre was developed by and for Australian farmers. It is now idle until the Chinese send their scientists to operate it.

Last year New Zealand stopped the sale of eight dairy farms to the Chinese because it did not meet the national interest test. New Zealand had the largest dairy company in the world, Fonterra. Australia has not major food companies since Fosters was sold.

How can Australia take advantage of the Asian century if we do not own the assets and support our skilled farmers and their knowledge of our land?

This is not the only issue impacting our capacity to feed ourselves and benefit Australia. Graincorp’s future is precarious as USA owned ADM will own assets that once belonged to Australia, and the US will determine the price our farmers get.  n fact, our Governments  have condoned the sale and majority foreign control of every major food export except rice.

Earlier this year the Federal and WA government gave over $600M to the Chinese to “invest” in the Ord with a 50 year lease. $Bs have been given to Ford and Holden only for them to leave and not reinvest in this country. Yet we cannot find money to alleviate the plight of those who feed us.

Interviews can be arranged with Lynne Wilkinson, CEO AUSBUY on (02) 9437 5455.

Why You Should Donate to Australia’s Food Security NOW!

Any aware Australian will know that our farmers are under great pressure with declining on farm incomes and rising debt. Any wonder some of them are selling their farms to pay off their debt. Any wonder foreign countries are grabbing our land.

Research has not been done since 1998 showing the decline in income for our farmers. Governments do not want to know the consequences of their policies. AUSBUY together with other industry groups is asking for donations to our Food Security Research so that policy makers can see the facts they do not want to know.

Australia cannot benefit from demand for our products if we do not own the land and the distribution channels.

We are in this situation was based on a false assumption that we exported most of our food, when we only export more than 50% of our beef, wheat and fibre. Now we import more fresh food than we export in direct competition to our own and many of our exports are foreign owned.  In addition our arable land is under great pressure from non farm industries and urban expansion.

The plight of our dairy farmers highlights that even if you are among the most productive, innovative and efficient in the world, market forces based on price do not help especially as competitors and the supply chain dictate the farm gate price. They are expected to compete with countries that long ago recognised their need for food security and have policies which support their own, and with a retail market that says price is the reason people buy. At what cost to our future and the product quality and integrity of our Australian owned and grown brands.

In Australia on farm income gets around 4% subsidy in the countries buying our assets it is closer to 41% that is more than ten times more than our farmers. This is an issue our policy makers should be accountable for in the coming elections. Please donate today and give our farmers some hope. Their hope is out hope.