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Mega Merge or Else……?

Greetings Readers

In November it was clear that deregulation of the Australian Dairy Industry was proceeding with devastating effect on dairy farmer producers. Federal and State support funds had been made available to cushion the transition but slowly the Aussie farmers woke to the fact that nobody cared if they survived or not. Not even their fellow farmers.

The primary objective of the deregulators was to reduce the price paid for milk by the Australian consumer. Six months into deregulation there is a growing sense of dismay and disgust as the hard truth hits home. A handout does not compensate, does not equip, and does not restructure a family farming unit.

In a news item below it spells out the dismal picture of an Aussie industry supposedly as efficient as our own and it carries a warning to NZ dairy farmers. Get control of what you want to have happen in the changes being faced up to in the Mega Merger or you will be facing the very same scenario.

Professor Neil Quigley seems to be a man searching for a scenario to fit his textbook market and competition theories. His pompous pontificating on the need for competition is solely based on the principle of divide and rule - you the producer should not have market strength because it disadvantages the consumer!

Look who has creamed the advantage in the Aussie deregulation - the consumer? No the retailer. How does the Professor's perfect market theories handle that as an outcome?

The primary driver for the single NZ dairy farmers cooperative is the need for a critical marketing mass to enable the produce from the many small farm businesses to be competitive in a large volume market where a few large retailer chains dominate the international food markets.

To load a small farm business down with all sorts of social and economic responsibility for this country, such as being presented in the Professors report, is not a reasonable ask. Surely future benefit flows from the things that we can do not the things that we wish we could do.

The management and organizational risks and responsibilities that will rest on the Mega Coop will be severe and not without conflict and controversy. But that is a far better option than the potentials for destruction of dairying skills, knowledge and wealth that lies in the Professors pogrom

The Professor is trying to invert the "sows ear into a silk purse" development of the dairy industry.

In the late nineteen fifties a prominent agriculturalist put the proposition "topdress the hills or else…." And when it happened the country prospered.

Dairy producers now face "Mega Merge or else..."

Good farming

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