Ris­ing costs to hurt farm­ers

Nar­row mar­gins make it tough for pri­mary pro­duc­ers to sur­vive

Central and North Burnett Times - - RURAL UPDATE - Sue Har­ris sue.har­ris@cnbtimes.com.au

MANY North Bur­nett pri­mary pro­duc­ers are fac­ing ris­ing in­put costs and lit­tle or no in­crease in re­turns.

It is feared loom­ing in­creases in elec­tric­ity and ir­ri­ga­tion costs will nar­row the sur­vival mar­gins fur­ther. The State Govern­ment’s 10% cap on elec­tric­ity price in­creases is recog­ni­tion of prob­lems be­ing faced by pri­mary pro­duc­ers but Grow­com has its reser­va­tions.

“The 10% cap on the elec­tric­ity tar­iff in­creases is a bit of a de­coy,” pol­icy man­ager David Put­land said. “While it’s an im­prove­ment over the QCA pro­posal, it’s still a hefty in­crease that grow­ers can’t af­ford, and it only ap­plies to the tran­si­tional ir­ri­ga­tion tar­iffs so other tar­iffs will still in­crease around 20%

Grape pro­ducer Sue Al­lan

... the prob­lem is that the pro­duc­ers here aren’t get­ting enough for their prod­uct at the farm gate.

next fi­nan­cial year.”

Many ru­ral fam­i­lies were also af­fected by the flood and are be­ing urged by their rep­re­sen­ta­tive bod­ies to con­tact their lo­cal mem­ber to lobby for an ex­ten­sion to the Au­gust 30 dead­line for ap­pli­ca­tions for disas­ter grants. Peo­ple are strug­gling to meet the dead­line be­cause there is more work to be done than there are con­trac­tors to do the jobs.

Grape pro­duc­ers Sue and Chris Al­lan of Mun­dub­bera are seek­ing so­lu­tions. “Any pri­mary pro­ducer will tell you they do not get much more for their prod­uct now than 10 years ago,” Mrs Al­lan said.

“Re­turn fluc­tu­a­tions oc­cur sea­son­ally, which help if they are higher re­turns, but the aver­age over time is usu­ally bor­der­ing on less than the cost of pro­duc­tion.

“One good idea I saw re­cently put for­ward was for the farm gate price to be dis­played be­side the re­tail price in store so the con­sumer could see where the mark up comes from.

“Bench­mark­ing cost of pro­duc­tion is an­other tool which most in­dus­tries are en­gag­ing in now.

“This high­lights sec­tions of your busi­ness which may not be vi­able.

“I think peo­ple are pre­pared to pay for what they want, but the prob­lem is that the pro­duc­ers here aren’t get­ting enough for their prod­uct at the farm gate.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.