Fonterra says government review a ‘missed opportunity’

By Jim Cornall contact

- Last updated on GMT

The dairy cooperative said the proposed changes will bring improvements, but are also a missed opportunity.
The dairy cooperative said the proposed changes will bring improvements, but are also a missed opportunity.

Related tags: Fonterra

New Zealand dairy cooperative Fonterra has responded to the New Zealand Government’s review into the Dairy Industry Restructuring Act (DIRA).

It says the proposed changes will bring some improvements to the sector, but it also represents a missed opportunity to better support New Zealand.

Fonterra chairman, John Monaghan, said that while the Government has recommended tweaks to the rules under which Fonterra has to give its farmers’ milk, effectively at cost price to foreign-backed competitors, the playing field is still tipped against New Zealand dairy farmers.

“Our farmer-owned cooperative wants an industry that promotes investment across regional New Zealand and where profits are kept in New Zealand. We stand for an industry where New Zealand farmers are paid well for their milk and the unique attributes of our environment are protected and enhanced.

“Given the significant increase in competition within the New Zealand dairy industry, we’re disappointed the Government did not recommend removing the requirement for us to supply our farmers’ milk to large, export-focused businesses altogether.

“We welcome the Government’s decision to give Fonterra the right to refuse membership to our coop where a farm is unlikely to comply with our terms of supply, or where the farm is a new conversion. These changes will support our coop’s ability to meet our customers’ demands and continue leading the industry toward a sustainable future for our farmers and the rural communities in which they live and farm.”

Greater transparency

Fonterra said it supports greater pricing transparency across the industry and ‘notes with interest’ the Government’s decision that the Minister of Agriculture will be able to nominate one person to sit on Fonterra’s Milk Price Panel.

Fonterra said it encourages the Government to extend this transparency and require all processors to publish the average price they pay to farmers, the key parameters of their milk price and examples showing the payout that would be received for different parameters.

“All efforts to bring greater pricing transparency into the dairy industry should be encouraged.  There’s no downside in farmers having clear, consistent information from which to compare processors,”​ Monaghan said.

“We look forward to constructively participating in the upcoming legislative process and will continue to push for an outcome that is in the interests of all dairy farmers and New Zealand.”

Related topics: Manufacturers, Dairy Health Check, Fonterra

Related news

Show more

comments

Post your comment

We will not publish your email address on the website

These comments have not been moderated. You are encouraged to participate with comments that are relevant to our news stories. You should not post comments that are abusive, threatening, defamatory, misleading or invasive of privacy. For the full terms and conditions for commenting see clause 7 of our Terms and Conditions ‘Participating in Online Communities’. These terms may be updated from time to time, so please read them before posting a comment. Any comment that violates these terms may be removed in its entirety as we do not edit comments. If you wish to complain about a comment please use the "REPORT ABUSE" button or contact the editors.

Follow us

Featured Events

View more

Products

View more

Webinars