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"Information - Insight - Interactivity"

Edited by Roy McCallum
May 24, 2000
Digest # 002
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Hello Readers
Today we have implemented the first of our changes to the site.

Our home page now contains news and in the future commentary will appear on items, which we think, you will be interested in.

The Export prices page includes a box to select earlier weekly reports and in the future we will graph this data and their relationships to exchange movements.

We have included a weather page of sites for the New Zealand and Australian region that we have found useful as farmers.

An archive of news items is in place and will be refined to enable searches and selections.

That is a summary of the changes to date but we are excited about further items being developed.

Our planned discussion forum is still some weeks away so in the meantime let us know by email at of things that interest you or ideas you have that may improve the usefulness of the site.

We are pleased and surprised with the number of daily visitors to the site and the wide international extent of these visitors.

Enjoy the site

We wish you a mild winter or a productive but pleasant summer depending on the hemisphere in which you farm.

The Farmnet Fellows
1. From the editor
2. Milk Floor Price a "Cruel Hoax".
3. Wool Growers Worried?
1. From the Editor

Being a small team we are racing to cover all the demands of running and developing a site. It is interesting and exciting work especially when new developments come on stream.

NZ Farming seems to have been the "poor relation" in the national market place for the past decade or so. Although touted as the most efficient farmers in the world we seem to loose much of that efficiency to other members of the production and distribution channel who are far less effective in their management of their functions.

We hope, that through the ease of access to information and commentary from other markets, to be able to make available comparisons and gain understanding to help assess whether our marketers are performing as well as they claim.

Watch this site!

Roy McCallum
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2. Milk Floor Price a "Cruel Hoax".

Chairman of the Australian Dairy Industry Council, Mr Pat Rowley, says the proposal from New South Wales Country Labor for a Milk Floor Price has built up false expectations among some producers that regardless of which political party wins the next election, deregulation of the dairy industry is a reality and producers will have to live it.

It doesn’t matter whether you've got John Howard in the Lodge or Kim Beazely in the lodge. The fact of the matter is, that no Commonwealth Government will re-introduce regulation to the point of putting a floor price in and in my view, that's building up false expectations to people that are in the midst of having to cope with the absolute commercial reality that Victoria's going to deregulate the dairy industry on the 1st of July.

To answer the question, how do you ensure that the 50% fall in milk prices being experienced by some producers, the problem is that we've always know that the moment de regulation occurs, that commercial price of milk in Australia which is basically driven off the world price because they've got no tariff barriers and the logistics of the volume of milk in Victoria being the next best option to other places, that prices would fall. That's why we put in place the restructure package and that's why the levy on milk is eleven cents a litre because it is underneath where we thought that price would go.

Editor's Comment:

The New Zealand Dairy industry is not the only national industry making or avoiding making long-term decisions about its structure that could have a disastrous effect on farmer's well being.

Could the Aussie type, crisis restructure model be replicated in NZ or has the death of the megamerger committed NZ to such an outcome anyhow?

Has the industry corporate head lost touch with the farmer body in more countries than New Zealand?
3. Wool Growers Worried?

The Wool Board is being accused of trying to influence the Industry Inquiry, which is currently underway to determine the future of the Wool Industry.

Concern is being raised that the inquiry process, which began with promise and a firm commitment from the monopoly Wool Board that it would not interfere and accept the outcome the inquiry produced, is now being controlled by those intent on protecting the status quo.

The take-over of the inquiry process has come just when the Wool Industry is poised to shake off its debilitating political dominance and concentrate fully on commercial solutions.

Woolgrowers, who anxiously looked to the Inquiry for some positive options to restore profitability, will be angry that the independence of the Inquiry has been compromised.

Unless control is regained of the process the industry is going to continue down its road of failure, unaccountable expenditure, lack of market focus, and poor prices.

History shows the Wool Board has had decades of time and billions in woolgrower levies to make a positive difference and has failed dramatically. They should butt out and leave it to others to determine the future and ensure that the Inquiry has integrity and be free from back room capture by self interest groups.

Editor's Comment:

For a once great industry the NZ Wool Board now represents but a shadow of its earlier stature.

And once again we have a cabal of executives plotting to hang on to the past at the expense of the present with no plan for the future.

Is it "why worry" for we have seen it all before and nothing changed or is it really changes, or die?
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