Labour-Fonterra Unholy Alliance Sunday, May 25, 2003
ACT New Zealand Rural Affairs Spokesman Gerry Eckhoff today said that dairy farmers are becoming increasingly uneasy over the potential for an unholy alliance between the Labour Government and Fonterra.
"Fonterra seems Hell-bent on imposing an environmental standard for dairy farmers without actually consulting them. This standard would then become the norm for the pastoral industry, Mr Eckhoff said.
"Such unilateral action by Fonterra would smack of unacceptable arrogance by a virtual monopoly.
"All farmers are well aware of the need for high environmental standards, but some form of accord imposed on the farming community without any consultation is doomed to fail. It is outrageous that dairy farmers have no say in the matter, when the entire process is dependent on them.
"It would have been entirely appropriate during the run up to the Fonterra Board elections for such matters to have been discussed, so that the diary farmer could vote accordingly. Fonterra's standing in the eyes of its owners - the farmers - would fall even further, were it foolish enough to impose some sort of Labour Government/Fonterra directive.
"This could only be seen as a belated payback to the Labour Government for allowing Fonterra to bypass the Commerce Commission during its establishment phase. Fonterra would do well to remember that the only authority it has is that given by the diary farmers of New Zealand," Mr Eckhoff said.