'Buy local' say dairy farmers
CASH-strapped dairy farmers have urged Gympie people to buy “name brands” rather than retailer-owned “home brand” products, to help keep their money close to the Gympie region.
But two local farmers yesterday contradicted Goomong producer John Cochrane, telling a Caloundra conference that farmers were ready to leave the industry over low prices offered to them by processors.
Dagun farmer/processor Dick Schroder said he did not believe dairying was faring any worse than other businesses in the current economic climate.
He was supported by lower Wide Bay farmer Andrew Burnett , who said he had also attended the Queensland Dairy Organisation’s Caloundra conference where Mr Cochrane expressed his views.
“I’d say probably most farmers are just in a bit of a holding pattern at the moment,” he said.
“There’s a perceived over-supply of milk, but I don’t think it’s as bad as processors are making out.
“I’m still very confident and upbeat about the industry.
“I think it’s a good industry to be in.
“It’s just that at this point in time, things are a little harder.
“But all wheels turn.
“We’ve had a couple of good years, but it just so happens that we’ve had a couple of years of not such good prices and we’ve somehow got to deal with that.
“I’d say to consumers not to buy ‘home brand’ or supermarket brand milk.
“When you buy branded milk, a profit comes back to the farmers and some of your money is staying in Gympie.
“Also it’s more likely to be of good quality and to be sourced locally.
“We’re all getting warm and fuzzy about locally-grown food and there is concern about the carbon cost of transport but in home brands it could come from anywhere.”