Deniliquin Pastoral Times
Renewed dairy focus
NSW Farmers is setting the wheels in motion for a fresh approach to advocacy for the NSW dairy industry.
Chair of the NSW Farmers’ Dairy Committee Colin Thompson has announced a suite of changes that will strengthen the association’s representation of dairy farmers and deliver results on the most important issues facing the industry.
The changes being progressed include the engagement of a dedicated dairy manager to run the NSW Farmers’ Dairy Section starting from the final quarter of 2021, the development of clear branding for the NSW Farmers’ Dairy Committee, and moving to a production based levy membership model similar to other states.
‘‘There has been significant discussion on structural reform over the last 18 months as a result of a dairy industry review under the Australian Dairy Plan, and the resounding message from farmers and industry is the need for better funded and more effective advocacy to deliver a united dairy voice at state and federal levels,’’ Mr Thompson said.
‘‘NSW Farmers has been responsive to calls for action at a state level, and has successfully secured approval for changes to the association’s dairy advocacy model.
‘‘The Dairy Committee recognises the need for improved advocacy as the industry faces challenges such as environmental impacts, competition from plant based foods, animal activists, unfair competition policy, and labour challenges.’’
Mr Thompson said the NSW Farmers’ Dairy Committee had been actively involved in advocacy restructure discussions, including a possible merger between NSW and Queensland to form a single organisation, however after much deliberation, the committee unanimously withdrew from these in May this year.
‘‘The strength and unity of NSW Farmers, the support of the board, the cross-commodity advocacy capability of the association and its direct access to government were the main reasons for withdrawing from discussions on a merger between the two states.
‘‘Our clear focus moving forward is to improve the sustainability and profitability of our industry, to provide opportunities for growth and development and to work together with other stakeholders to advocate for and achieve better outcomes for dairy in New South Wales.
‘‘We want to build on our track record, which includes hard fought wins to improve supply chain and competition problems through the mandatory Dairy Code of Conduct and our work around the perishable agricultural goods inquiry.
‘‘On behalf of New South Wales dairy farmers, we will continue to prioritise water and land use issues relevant to agricultural industries such as dairy,’’ Mr Thompson said.
The NSW Farmers’ Dairy AGM will be held at 1pm on Wednesday, September 8 and all dairy farmers in NSW are invited to join and learn more about these developments.