Still strug­gling with debt

Shepparton News - Country News - - LITTLEPROUD VISIT -

Both Fon­terra and Mur­ray Goul­burn sup­pli­ers were forced into debt by the com­pa­nies af­ter they claimed they over­paid sup­pli­ers for their milk in April, 2016.

For MG sup­pli­ers, this was in the form of a milk sup­ply sup­port pack­age to re­pay the funds, which was ul­ti­mately wiped in May last year.

Katunga dairy farmer Brid­get Gould­ing, a Bon­lac sup­plier whose milk is pro­cessed by Fon­terra, told a pub­lic fo­rum with Fed­eral Agri­cul­ture Min­is­ter David Lit­tleproud that they were not so lucky and were still re­pay­ing their loans.

‘‘There is a lot of work to be done with the dairy side of things, es­pe­cially when you have got sup­pli­ers out there such as my­self that have a loan that I am still pay­ing back and I will con­tinue to be pay­ing back for an­other 18 months, which is heart­break­ing,’’ Ms Gould­ing said.

‘‘I can’t deal with the drought be­cause I’m so busy deal­ing with what’s al­ready hap­pen­ing in my busi­ness.’’

Long way to go . . . Ap­plaud­ing the ac­knowl­edge­ment there’s a lot more to do in the dairy in­dus­try, Katunga dairy farmer Brid­get Gould­ing says she and many oth­ers are still deal­ing with the fall­out of the 2016 milk price crash.

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