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Security Needed For Dairy Farmers

Andrea Dawkins

Andrea Dawkins  -  Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Tags: Primary Industries, Dairy Industry

Andrea Dawkins MP | Greens Primary Industries spokesperson

Shifting consumer demands and the continued global milk glut are continuing to seriously affect dairy farmers in Tasmania.

Murray Goulburn's further cut to the wholesale milk price has left dairy farmers devastated. Many will be holding their breaths as they wait for Fonterra's announcement.

The milk price is still below production costs, and Tasmanian farmers are rightly distressed.

The Greens welcome the government loan scheme, financial counselling and boost to rural mental health, but encourage the Liberals to look outside the square in their support.

Rebuilding confidence in the dairy industry will be a multi-pronged approach. Divesting some attachment to the commodity market must be considered in the suite of solutions.

This could be an opportunity for Tasmania’s dairy farmers to diversify their product and look for ways to value add on the island.

There are only 14 artisan cheese producers in the state, and we are seriously lacking organic milk producers.

We hope the Liberals are considering the nature of government support and how they can be helping farmers diversify into local and more secure markets.