NSW Farmers’ dairy committee chair Colin Thompson said farmers were disappointed the federal government had failed to crack down on competition despite the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s (ACCC) repeated warnings.
“There are big issues in the food supply chain and we saw it very clearly with the dollar-a-litre milk debacle,” Mr Thompson said.
“We see huge potential in agriculture but there must be real reform of competition law as a major priority to really see it come to fruition.”
As the state’s peak agricultural body, NSW Farmers recently appointed a dedicated dairy sector manager to unify advocacy efforts and serve as a key liaison between farmers, the policy teamand key industry stakeholders.
“Our association has the ear of government and departments – and the other parties too – and we have a good track record on getting things done,” Mr Thompson said.
“Getting that direct line from the dairy farmer to the minister is really important when the future of our entire industry is at stake.”
After recent flooding, Mr Thompson said it was more important than ever to give farmers a voice and the help they need, when and where they need it.
While farmers on the south coast were spared from the scale of flooding around north coast, Mr Thompson said they had still copped a drenching and were in need of support.
“The recovery from these floods will take a long time, but every little bit helps,” Mr Thompson said.
“There’s a big focus on dairy up north – as there should be – but we’re also making sure our southern dairy farmers aren’t forgotten, and that they all get the help needed during this difficult time.”