AUSTRALIA – Arguing about prices will not help industry leaders move dairying forward, a farm group has warned as part of its vision for the future.
State farming body, Victorian Farmers Federation (VFF) has rallied the dairy sector with a four point strategy, headed by a call to focus on research and development resources.
Through improving knowledge within the sector, VFF has stated that the industry can focus on the ‘real issues’ and start thinking ‘beyond the current paradigm of management issues and short term distractions’.
Furthermore, manufacturers need to increase the value of manufactured products. Increased milk production, the VFF added, will only come from increased profitability.
These steps are more worthwhile than debating $1 per litre retail milk and ‘reregulation’, said Tyran Jones, Vice President of United Dairyfarmers of Victoria.
Mr Jones wants to see producers interact with some of the resources available, such as Dairy Australia, Australia Dairy Farmers and the Gardiner Foundation.
His message was that farmers are keeping investing in their businesses and that this confidence must be matched in primary industry research and development to keep up with foreign competitors.
“Despite challenging times over the last few years, I know farmers who have collectively invested millions of dollars securing their place in the future of the Victorian Dairy Industry,” said Mr Jones.
"They are not lucky - they are smart and continually invest in their own farming skills and business management capability.
“They make good strategic and operational decisions most of the time, and can always point to things they could have done better. They look to themselves to fix things or do things better when plans go awry.
Last week, National Farmers' Federation President Duncan Fraser said that investment is vital for the whole of agriculture, especially from a foreign standpoint.
Mr Fraser called for 'sensible policy outcomes' in the debate on foreign investment and pledged to focus on building transparency.
But he added: “The issue of foreign investment is very complex, but as we have long said, such investment has traditionally been very positive for Australian agriculture and should continue to play an important role."
“We have been very pleased to hear the Minister for Agriculture, Barnaby Joyce’s, comments over recent days supporting foreign investment – particularly the sale of two properties in the top end to an Indonesian company, after speaking to the Northern Territory cattle industry. This shows that the Minister is listening and taking the views of farmers on board.