Celebrating 25 Years of Scoop
Special: Up To 25% Off Scoop Pro Learn More

Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search

 

NBR claims about Federated Farmers


3 October 2014

NBR claims about Federated Farmers

Federated Farmers wishes to place on record a correction to claims which have recently appeared in the National Business Review (NBR).

Income

Federated Farmers is a membership funded incorporated society. As such we are not dependent on government money since a voluntary membership provides most of the Federation’s income.

“Other Income,” which has been the source of some highly creative conjecture by the NBR, is made up of:

income from sponsorship and/or our partners programme (detailed at fedfarm.org.nz). Federated Farmers has no secret ‘off-label’ sponsors
provision of policy services (eg Environmental support for Sheep and Beef Farmers announced at this year’s National Fieldays)
income from back office support for kindred organisations
sales of contracts, agreements and services to our members (via our online shop, 0800 FARMING (0800 327 646) or Federated Farmers field team) and
any other non-membership income.

By and far the largest single contributor to “Other Income” has been the sale of contracts, agreements and services at heavy discount to our membership; an example being the launch of the new and improved Herd Owning Sharemilking Agreement.

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading

Are you getting our free newsletter?

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.

Our contracts, agreements and advice are also industry standard, as evidenced by this experience involving a member.

The Official Information Act answer to NBR (September 2014)

In the past two-years, the OIA answer reveals that Federated Farmers has received $1,052 from the Ministry for Primary Industries and that was for conference registration fees.

It is farcical to suggest this is “bankrolling” Federated Farmers. Nor was any “other income” received from the old MAF/MPI a “gift,” as the NBR has claimed. The Federation went through open and transparent application processes subject to strict reporting, performance and review criteria. These were for specific projects and not long standing arrangements as indicated below.

The largest component covered by the OIA answer, at $148,894, relates to a successful three-year Sustainable Farming Fund (SFF) application to support Federated Farmers’ Farm Day; a concept which has received considerable media attention. This funding was time limited for a three-year period with advertising and promotional materials disclosing support of the SFF. Federated Farmers did not avail itself of the full funding potentially available in 2012. Project reports are available online too.

With regard to the employment relations training (2009-2011), our joint Remuneration Survey with Rabobank has recorded a substantial increase in the number of farm employees with written employment agreements; from 67 percent (2008 survey) to 87 percent in the survey conducted in 2013.

Federated Farmers has also received support (not covered by this OIA we wish to point out) from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. This assisted our membership of the World Farmers Organisation (WFO), where Federated Farmers has helped to shape its trade policy. We have also been supported to attend meetings in support of New Zealand’s wider trade agenda. This support has been notified from time to time in related media releases, for example, 18 April 2013, 21 April 2013, while RadioNZ covered our WFO membership in May 2012.

Federated Farmers is disappointed in NBR’s coverage.

The objective seems to have been to craft a story implying something untoward has occurred when everything was as a result of public application and/or disclosure.

We have already pointed out that our corporate sponsors are listed on our website and to the reporter concerned, but he has chosen to ignore it, presumably, to build a conspiracy that we maybe, “bankrolled from sources such as the banking and energy sectors, as well as multi-national agrochemical and agriculture biotechnology corporations”. The inference being that there are dark forces influencing Federated Farmers policy. This is fantasy. The journalist concerned has been informed of this over some time, going back to his time as a journalist for the defunct Straight Furrow (now NZ Farmer).

The NBR continues to incorrectly attribute a comment made in the management letter as a qualification in our auditor’s report. Such a confusion falls well below the standards we would expect of a financial business newspaper. Federated Farmers’ auditors have expressed no concerns and nor have the Ministries that we have had a relationship with.

Federated Farmers is disappointed that the NBR is allowing a journalist to run what amounts to be a personal agenda on ‘banking, energy and multi-national agrochemical and agriculture biotechnology corporations.’ The continuance of this does not help NBR’s reputation for objective and balanced reporting.

Summary the OIA answer received by the NBR:

2014 ($552) comprising:
Registration fee for our 2014 National Conference in Palmerston North.

2013 ($500) comprising:
Registration fee for our 2013 National Conference in Ashburton.

2012 ($7,982) comprising:
Continued Sustainable Farming Fund grant for Farm Day (third and final year) – the link gives some idea as to the application and reporting standards.

2011 ($46,740) comprising:
Continued Sustainable Farming Fund grant for Farm Day (year two) – the link gives some idea as to the application and reporting standards

Employment Relations Training for farmers.

2010 ($122,168) comprising:
Sustainable Farming Fund grant for Farm Day (year one) – the link gives some idea as to the application and reporting standards

A Primary Leadership Training matrix

Employment Relations Training for farmers.

2009 ($50,716) comprising:
International Sheep Meat Forum in Brussels: Attendance for Bruce Wills to join the New Zealand delegation at a global event jointly organised by the European farmers’ organisation, COPA-COGECA (we are not funded by our members to undertake overseas work)

Peak Group Meeting in Wellington (half-cost) for Southland farmer representatives to attend

Primary Water Partnership Coordinator (share of coordinator costs by the then MAF and remaining costs met by Partnership members)

Employment Relations Training for farmers.

Ends.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Join Our Free Newsletter

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.