Opinion

Milk is for calves

by
May 12, 2016

Milk is for calves

As someone who consumed dairy for 34 years and considered it ‘‘normal’’, I can understand that dairy farmers regard their occupation as ‘‘normal’’.

But, the truth is, it is not normal for humans to be consuming the milk of a bovine; that milk is produced solely for the nourishment of her newborn calf.

With regard to Fonterra’s slashing of milk prices (The News, May 10) Toolamba dairy farmer Richard Cross says: ‘‘It is absolutely heartwrenching for the farmers concerned.’’

I would like to urge him — and all dairy farmers — to think about how heartwrenching it is for the mother cow having her baby torn from her side, year after year.

The only ones who need cows’ milk are calves, and we have absolutely no right to steal it from them.

Submitted by-- Jenny Moxham, Monbulk

Farmers take hit

We all like a bargain. We like to pay the least amount of money for the maximum benefit to us.

We are proud of the bargains we get by shopping around, whether it be for a new car, discount alcohol or food.

While it is prudent to make sure we get value for money, as there are those who take advantage of us with prices above what makes a reasonable profit, also there are those who make almost nothing from all their efforts.

Our farming community is one which is being screwed from all sides. They have increased costs of transport, electricity, fuel, machinery, water, governmental regulation, red tape, council rates — and yet they are expected to sell their produce at virtually the same prices as many years ago.

They were told to get big or get out, to work more efficiently — and they have, but you soon reach the point where no more efficiencies can be made, and dairy farmers such as the Waasdorps (The News, May 10) are a typical example.

If you look at the price you pay for milk and what farmers get per litre, you will see a big discrepancy.

For example you can pay more for some of the (butter) fat reduced milk compared to the whole milk varieties. This is a rip-off, as when I was on a farm we used a separator which most dairy farmers did, that separated the cream from the milk.

It was only necessary to add a little whole milk to the skim and you had low-fat milk, and there was cream to sell as well. It should have been cheaper to produce, not dearer.

Overall there is considerable mark-up (processing, and retail mark-up) so farmers are not receiving a fair return for their labours.

Our middle men need to be less greedy or, if they are not greedy, the price of milk needs to be increased marginally so that farmers get a fair return. This also applies to other agricultural products. If we have farmers going out of business, where will we get our milk or other produce from?

Submitted by-- Rodney Champness, Mooroopna

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