News

Dairy’s brave new world

KEY SPEAKERS: (Front, from left) QDO president Brian Tessman and CEO Adrian Peake with (back, from left) Ross Hopper of Maleny Dairies, Neil Lane from Dairy Australia, Brad Granzin, Peter Falcongreen and Norco chairman Greg McNamara. PHOTOS: GREG MILLER
KEY SPEAKERS: (Front, from left) QDO president Brian Tessman and CEO Adrian Peake with (back, from left) Ross Hopper of Maleny Dairies, Neil Lane from Dairy Australia, Brad Granzin, Peter Falcongreen and Norco chairman Greg McNamara. PHOTOS: GREG MILLER

ASIA is the new frontier for embattled Gympie region dairy farmers, whose milk and milk products will one day be the boutique dairy items of choice in China, if Queensland processors and industry leaders have their way.

About 100 dairy farmers from throughout the region and beyond attended the second biannual Queensland Dairyfarmers' Organisation conference at the Gympie Civic Centre yesterday.

The future, they were told, is bright. But most Queensland farmers don't feel that way.

A host of speakers and displays from major and independent processors such as Norco, Lion and Maleny Dairies joined QDO and Dairy Australia heavyweights in acknowledging the plight of dairy farmers over the past four years, the impact of natural disaster like the drought and "man-made disasters" like the milk price war, and the vast potential that Asia represents, especially China.

QDO president Brian Tessman rejected claims his organisation was not doing enough to staunch the haemorrhage of dairy farmers from the Gympie region and Queensland economies.

He said the QDO worked hard to support farmers, develop markets, lobby government and improve farm efficiencies, including working with farmers to reduce the prohibitive power bills of irrigating, which many dairy farmers must do 24/7 to feed their herds through the drought.

QDO CEO Adrian Peake said there was "some movement" in Canberra on some of the issues facing dairy farmers, and one of the biggest breakthroughs was Norco's success in changing the protocols for the importation of fresh milk into China.

Coles and Woolworths have "jammed up" the market place domestically, but diversification and the export market was the way forward, Mr Peake said.

The domestic market has potential for opportunities as there is already a shortage of fresh milk in Queensland and this state has the highest population growth.

The conference heard a recent survey of 471 Queensland and NSW dairy farmers revealed 37% were not confident about the future, 4% were confident and the rest were somewhere in between.

This was a slightly better result than previous confidence surveys.

Less than a quarter of farmers, however, expected to be dairying in five years time and 67% said they struggled each month to pay their bills.

Seventy-four per cent said they would be interested in joining a single supply group, and 48% were interested in changing processors.

Mr Peake said the QDO was lobbying the Federal Government to implement a mandatory Code of Conduct to clean up the "unconscionable conduct within the retail sector", and for a stronger Competition and Consumer Act to outlaw predatory conduct. It wants better trade agreements for dairy, a trade agreement with China, and stronger bargaining powers for farmers, including the provision to boycott.

Gympie Times

Topics:  dairy, exports, gympie




Gympie police plead for calm amid rising assault numbers

Senior Constable Deb Wruck has urged people to walk away from potentially violent situations.

Walk away before someone is hurt, police urge

Southside’s divisive subdivision back on council table

An aerial photo of the subdivision site on Smerdon Rd, Southside.

Smerdon Rd development has residents concerned

Donaldson doesn’t miss Perrett in this letter

Agriculture Minister Leanne Donaldson

Agriculture Minister Leanne Donaldson lines up Tony Perrett

Latest deals and offers

Elena wins MasterChef: “I’m ecstatic and eager to celebrate"

MasterChef Australia 2016 winner Elena Duggan, from Noosa.

NOOSA chefs survive marathon grand final dish by Heston Blumenthal.

Shannen Doherty shaves hair during cancer battle

Shannen Doherty has completely shaved off her hair

Brian McFadden makes daughters pay for own Christmas gifts

McFadden makes his daughters pay for half their presents

Lady Gaga is a godmother

Lady Gaga has become a godmother to her friends' daughter

Will Turbo be taken off TV?

Memes about Turbo are flowing on Social media.

PEOPLE want Turbo taken off TV, but will Prospero Productions the ma

Police charge in after Lohan claims fiance tried to kill her

"You tried to kill me. You're a f*****g psycho".

You can own this Queensland town for just $1

Yelarbon

Unprecedented auction of town's business centre with no reserve

Work starts on $15M Caloundra apartment building

Turning the first sod at the Aqua View Apartments site in Kings Beach are (from left) husband-and-wife developers Alex Yuan and Stella Sun with construction company Tomkins director Mike Tomkins and Councillor Tim Dwyer.

Developers excited about addition to Kings Beach skyline

72-year-old Coast developer set to start new project

GREEN LIGHT: The Cosmopolitan has been approved for development at Cotton Tree.

Meet the Canberran set to deliver another chapter for Coast suburb

Plans revealed for 1500-lot 'master-planned community'

Precinct will be bounded by Boundary St and Shoesmith Rd

Ecco Ripley sales run sparks prime release

MOVING IN: Sekisui House has announced the release of more residential blocks at Ecco Ripley.

Sekisui House is preparing to unveil more land at Ecco Ripley

The climb is slow but property on the way up

Michael Matusik, director of Matusik Property Insights.Photo Allan Reinikka / The Morning Bulletin

The improvement would be mild when compared to past cycles