Members are what matters
AS you all know, the Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association is the peak body for farmers within the state.
At the TFGA we advocate for our members across a large range of issues. We advocate to government at all levels. We advocate to other stakeholders, and we advocate to the community at large.
What we seek to do is to ensure that Tasmanian farmers have the best environment in which to grow their food and fibre, and secure a future for their families.
We do this in an apolitical context – that is we say what needs to be said without fear or favour. Our members rightfully expect us to do so.
External influences, or a desire to seek political favour, are no excuse for inappropriate representation. When an organisation succumbs to these pressures it loses the ability and the right to represent membership.
Independence of thought and action is not always easy to come by. It requires moral and ethical strength and a commitment to do what is right.
At the TFGA we strive to achieve these commendable and appropriate outcomes. If we fail to adhere to an ethical way of behaving then by default we give credibility who would behave otherwise.
I received many positive responses about last week’s column on conflict of interest. its
I found this reassuring as it demonstrates that the community at large, not only holds high expectations, but expects organisations within it to adhere to them.
Any failure to do so will be quickly judged by the community and will call into question that organisation’s ability to operate without social capital.
Doing the right thing isn’t always easy, but it is always important.
I call upon organisations, all Tasmanian particularly those based on membership, to ask themselves this question. Are you operating in an ethical manner that truly benefits your members?
To be clear, I’m not saying this from some high moral ground, because on occasion the TFGA itself has missed the mark.
We do however consistently strive to be not only the best, but to do so in a manner that meets external and internal expectations.
When we have got it wrong, we have been prepared to admit it and look to ensure that we do not repeat the error.
When we have not met our own standards, we have looked with introspection to address our failings.
None of us – individuals, organisations or governments – are perfect.
However, we must always be looking to improve and we must also be looking to set and maintain the highest possible standards.