New Dairynz strat­egy bet­ter for all in­volved

Matamata Chronicle - - Rural Delivery -

Are­freshed DairyNZ strat­egy, due for re­lease in July, will bal­ance be­ing com­pet­i­tive with en­vi­ron­men­tal re­spon­si­bil­ity, Fed­er­ated Farm­ers dairy chair­man Willy Le­ferink says.

‘‘It’s very im­por­tant or New Zealand will say one day ‘Hey, you won’t get more land for dairy­ing’,’’ he told the Pri­mary In­dus­try Sum­mit.

The strat­egy ‘‘re­fresh’’ came about when the Eco­log­i­cal Foun­da­tion, Greens, and Green­peace had ‘‘put our nose right into where it hurt the most; they told us we were putting poo in the creek’’. That was a waste. ‘‘In­stead of putting ef­flu­ent in the creek you put it on your pad­dock. You get free nu­tri­ents and you grow more grass.’’

That at­ti­tude had now been re­flected in the new strat­egy, which fo­cused on ac­tions un­der Com­pet­i­tive and Re­spon­si­ble.

Prof­itable dairy farm­ing headed the ‘‘com­pet­i­tive’’ list.

‘‘If you don’t make money you can’t take green mea­sures.’’

The key was to keep costs un­der con­trol.

This had the po­ten­tial to make bet­ter use of nu­tri­ents to grow bet­ter feed that lifts cow pro­duc­tion, lead­ing to fewer cows needed.




‘‘We have a high em­ployee turnover. I’m not proud of it,’’ he said. ‘‘If you stay too long on a farm it’s deemed you do not want to progress.’’

The South Is­land was car­ry­ing a legacy of ‘‘ mum and dad’’ set­tlers from the North Is­land who were not used to em­ploy­ing staff.



The Land and Wa­ter Fo­rum’s col­lab­o­ra­tive agree­ments had shown the way for col­lab­o­ra­tion among all sec­tors of a com­mu­nity.

‘‘ It’s good for busi­ness; an an­i­mal you don’t look af­ter doesn’t look af­ter you.’’

Mr Le­ferink said dairy­ing faced re­stric­tions.

‘‘ We can’t just ex­pand where we like. Some com­mu­ni­ties had made it clear enough is enough.’’

‘‘Costs have gone up, the Kiwi dol­lar is a mas­sive sea an­chor, but we are mak­ing head­way. We’ve learnt that price volatil­ity is ac­tu­ally good for us be­cause it brings op­por­tu­ni­ties.’’



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