Opinion

Disgust at firms

by
May 18, 2016

Disgust at firms

I was amazed when learning about the management decisions of Murray Goulburn Dairy Company and the Fonterra Group’s plan to reduce the price of dairy produce and make the price cut retrospective.

This amazement was compounded with disgust when it was further announced the ‘‘overpayment’’ will be converted into a loan to be repaid with interest.

How can the factory management do that?

Who was the individual who thought of this diabolical plan?

They must be identified!

If this situation is allowed to continue, then in one foul blow confidence in any form of food production in Australia will be annihilated.

Factory managements have set a precedent to be willingly embraced by other buyers of rural production.

The decision has opened a ‘‘Pandora’s Box’’ of fiendish proportions.

The grain buyers, the meat buyers, et cetera, can offer prices leading to increased commitment and production from farmers and then take money back when they have over committed themselves.

This is no way to treat Australian dairy farmers or any primary producers.

According to a Senate report into deregulation of the dairy industry, “over the past couple of decades the industry has experienced substantial consolidation and efficiency gains. The number of dairy farms is reported to have declined from over 30000 in 1975 to 14000 currently. This consolidation of farms, together with advances in farming techniques and associated technology, has increased productivity substantially, with milk production per cow rising from 2750 to 4744 litres. In total, national milk production has increased 30 per cent since 1970.”

Farmers have done everything expected of them to feed Australians and the world, and this is their reward; shame on the factory management, shame on the farm leaders, and shame on their elected political representatives.

What can be done now?

Firstly, the factory debt management scheme must not proceed from this moment.

Secondly, if price for dairy production must drop, then it must not be allowed to go below the estimated cost of farm production now, and this includes debt management.

The flow-on from the factory management decision will impact on all sections of the Australian economy — as farmers decrease their spending, other businesses will have to increase their prices or they too will face bankruptcy; the economic destruction will escalate further to job layoffs, with the only growth industry ‘‘police and emergency services’’ as they cope with the breakdown of a once stable society.

Australians are fortuitous that an election is in full swing so it is time to punish the elected representatives who have allowed the decimation of rural Australia to happen — candidates for all the major parties must be placed last on your voting paper.

Submitted by--Louis Cook, Numurkah

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