United Dairyfarmers of Victoria President Paul Mumford opened the 2019 UDV Annual Meeting and Conference with a speech calling on dairy processors, retailers, Government, industry bodies, and farmers to rise to the challenge of a changing industry climate.
“A good industry is one built on trust, transparency and a ‘fair go’ for all. Since 2016 our relationship with processors has been fractured and the wounds have not healed,” Mr Mumford said.
“We are looking for a show of good will; recognition from processors of the importance of having a strong relationship with your farmers.
“Will you, the processors, step up and make a genuine commitment to work hand-in-hand with us to take our industry forward?
“To the retailers, you need farmers and we need you. We want to see a genuine partnership with retailers; farmers want and deserve a fair price! Will you rise to the challenge?
“After six months of the Andrews Government, we are left wondering – where are you? Will you commit to engaging directly with our farmers and getting out to the farms in the regions to see first-hand what impact these condition are having on family farm businesses and their communities and work with us to deliver solutions?
“To Dairy Australia, farmers entrust you with their levy dollars; to invest them wisely in research, development and extension to ensure we are prepared, innovative and resilient. Will you commit to ensuring that these investments are directed in the right areas to ensure that farmers, such as those in the north, are equipped to deal with their changing environment?
“To Australian Dairy Farmers, what is the game plan for animal activists and the other long-term advocacy challenges that we are likely to confront across the country? Are you a best practice advocacy organisation well placed to deliver for members?
“Finally, to every person in this room and every dairy farmer across the State, my challenge to you is to get engaged, have your say and make sure your voice counts in the Dairy Plan because it is our plan for our industry.
“I am confident that our dairy farmers will move forward and rise to the challenges of our changing climate and I hope that our processors, levy organisation, government, retailers and peak bodies will also rise and work to support us as we embark on this challenging journey.”