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Dairy Farmers Investing In Industry Good

Monday 15 September 2003
For immediate release

DAIRY FARMERS INVESTING IN INDUSTRY GOOD

Dairy InSight has received a number of calls from farmers interested in learning more about the investment they are making in industry good activities.

Dairy InSight Chief Executive Peter Bodeker says the organisation, which funds and co-ordinates industry good activities on behalf of all dairy farmers, began collecting a 3.4c/kg (plus GST) levy on milksolids produced from June 1 this year.

Dairy InSight has budgeted to collect about $39 million and is investing the funds in 94 projects for the 2003/2004 year.

Mr Bodeker says the change in the way industry good activities are being funded and co-ordinated has surprised some farmers.

"For the first time dairy farmers are seeing a deduction being taken from their dairy company milk payment for investment in the areas of farm research, environment, quality, knowledge, promotion and advocacy.

"Historically industry good funding was managed by the NZ Dairy Board, and farmers took it for granted that those placed in control of their money had their best interests at heart when making industry good investments.

"Now dairy farmers are aware of their actual contribution to industry good activities, which also enables them to better gauge progress being made on their own farms from that investment."

Mr Bodeker says farmers are investing an average $10 per cow or about $2,600 per farm.

He says Dairy InSight has fielded a number of calls from farmers on the investment they are making.

"It is no surprise that some farmers would prefer to have the money in their own pocket, which we can all relate to.

"Most of the callers are pleased to hear that the investment they are making enables the work that was previously undertaken by the Dairy Board to continue. They also like the increased transparency, in that they know exactly how much they are contributing on a monthly basis to activities that benefit all dairy farmers."

Mr Bodeker says Dairy InSight is planning a series of farmer meetings in early November to answer farmer questions and provide more detail on the 94 projects being funded. Areas of interest to be covered will include research and development, education, Tb control, and industry good benefits.

Dairy farmers should contact Dairy InSight on freephone 0800 446 744, fax 04 471 6909 or email info@dairyinsight.co.nz for further information on the levy and projects being funded.

ENDS

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