News - What Interests Farmers?Monday, Jun 26, 2000
News items over the past few days show that farmers have a common problem throughout the world - their
urban community does not care what problems farmers face in their day-to-day work. It seems that
80% of urbanites don't care and a further 20% even hope that it's difficult to be a farmer. And
if it is not they will do their damnedest to contrive to make it so.
This weeks report from the Wool Industry enquiry seems under a bit of a cloud as the 'beneficiaries
of the past' fight to retain influence or privilege. There are some parallels with the dairy industry
facing up to change. The leadership appears to lack the courage to strike out on a new course,
build on the past, but accept that globalisation of markets requires new structures to harvest the
best returns. The evidence is clear returns are declining in the long-term in spite of temporary
upturns currently being enjoyed.
There is only so much advice that can be accepted from advocates of'niche' marketing of our products.
With so many niche marketers, one must imagine that the niche market is both enormously large
and terribly crowded or else it is a marketer's illusion! Surely the present day objective is to produce
and promote a range of products targeted at identified customers and part of that marketing
is the formation of a long term partnership in giving and receiving reward and satisfaction.
On the Farmer Articles page The Alderney has raised his concerns about rural rating. I think he has
a point about the inequity of rural rates and the structures and procedures that disguise and protect
the indulgences of district and regional councils.