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Call For Support Of Dairy Insight

Tuesday 7 May, 2002

Fonterra, Westland And Tatua Dairy Companies Call For Support Of Dairy Insight

Dairy InSight is receiving good support at the farmer meetings it is currently conducting throughout the country prior to the May vote on whether industry good funding should continue in the dairy industry.

“The feedback Dairy InSight is receiving at the farmer meetings is positive. Our Statement of Intent document has been well received by farmers, so we are confident they have the information they need to make an informed vote – and we obviously want that to be a clear yes vote,” says Dairy InSight Chief Executive Officer, Peter Bodeker.

Dairy InSight is aiming for a minimum of 75% of voters in support of Dairy InSight.

“We need a clear mandate from dairy farmers to go forward. This is an important opportunity for dairy farmers to ensure that the future of their industry is secure – because industry good activities such as research and development, environmental controls, education, promotion and disease eradication are essential to the New Zealand industry’s competitiveness in world markets,” says Peter Bodeker.

Recognising the importance of industry good funding the three main dairy companies, Fonterra, Westland Co-operative Dairy Company and Tatua Co-operative Dairy Company will continue to fund industry good activities from farmers’ payouts until 31 May, 2003. Dairy farmers are voting for the continuation of industry good funding from 1 June, 2003.

“Dairy farmers must understand that they are voting for the continuance of industry good funding – this is nothing new,” says Mr John Roadley, Chairman of Fonterra. “Industry good activities previously funded by dairy farmers’ from Dairy Board payouts have been a critical contribution to making the New Zealand dairy industry what it is today.”

“If New Zealand is to remain a leader in an increasingly competitive global market place, dairy farmers must support the continued developments of its industry through research, knowledge transfer and good management practices.”

“Fonterra endorses a single organisation to manage industry good activities and encourages all dairy farmers to get out and vote during May,” says Mr Roadley.

With a yes vote for Dairy InSight all dairy farmers will be members of Dairy InSight and will have the right to elect a board of farmer directors.

“With a clear mandate to go forward, Dairy InSight will provide dairy farmers with an organisation that is solely focused on farmer benefits,” says Ian Robb, Chairman of Westland Co-operative Dairy Company.

“Funding through the Commodity Levies Act is the fairest way for dairy farmers to ensure that priority projects are being funded in New Zealand. Dairy farmers will be able to influence those priorities too. That future is in their hands from when they are invited to vote from 10 May.

“If farmers want a clear measure of the importance of saying “yes” - then they just need to look at the implications of voting “no”. They risk industry good funding becoming ad hoc, fragmented, and in periods of lower return, it is inevitable that industry good would become a lower priority. And when times are good again, we may not have the on-farm capability to take full advantage of them. Farmers would also have a much lower level of influence over spending than what they would have with Dairy InSight. ” says Mr Robb.

“Dairy InSight has conducted extensive consultation and all dairy farmers are encouraged to talk to their peers, partners and rural professionals in their areas about the future of industry good funding. Then they must vote,” says Dr Alan Frampton, Chairman of the Tatua Co-operative Dairy Company.

“The worst case scenario would be a poor turn out by dairy farmers. This is not a time for complacency. Dairy farmers must give Dairy InSight, the industry and the Government a clear understanding of how they want their industry handled in the future. To do this all farmers need to vote,” says Dr Frampton.

Ends

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