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Industry’s competitiveness in spotlight at DairyNZ AGM

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

For immediate release
Industry’s competitiveness in spotlight at DairyNZ AGM


Dairy farmers’ ability to remain internationally competitive is likely to be a hot topic when dairy industry and research body, DairyNZ, reviews the past year at its Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Canterbury this month.

DairyNZ is holding its AGM in Ashburton from 11am on Thursday, October 27, at Hotel Ashburton.

Industry body chairman Michael Spaans says the AGM will review the 2015/16 dairy season, including the low milk price challenges, and discuss DairyNZ’s highlights for the year and future direction.

“All New Zealand dairy farmers contribute funding to DairyNZ via a milksolids levy so we are here to work for all farmers, helping with immediate challenges such as low milk price through to undertaking long-term industry-wide research,” says Michael.

The recent dairy industry seasons have reaffirmed the cyclical nature of farming and that farmers must ensure their businesses are set-up to cope with greater price volatility.

“The long period of low milk prices our industry has faced reminds us all how important it is to run productive and profitable businesses,” says Michael.

“Looking back on the past year, which has inevitably challenged many farmers’ profitability, I am encouraged to see, yet again, that dairy farmers can and do adapt, and as an industry we remain competitive internationally.”

In 2015/16, $67 million was collected through the milksolids levy, along with additional government funding. DairyNZ’s work includes research and development to create practical on-farm tools, leadership of good practice farming, promoting careers in dairying and advocating for farmers with central and regional government.

In 2015-16, Canterbury farmers produced 385 million kilograms of milksolids, worth $1.5 billion. The dairy industry’s milk production benefited the regional economy by $830 million GDP (gross domestic product) in 2015-16 and provided over 6300 jobs on-farm and a further 1200 in milk processing.

“This is around 7500 jobs – from on-farm through to processing and wholesaling,” says Michael. “Dairy is a big part of the local Canterbury economy – and many others nationwide – so it is vital to ensure the industry is competitive internationally and product is produced by resilient, responsible businesses.”

Local industry research during 2015/16 has already made good gains in developing farm options which could reduce nitrate leaching in the region, while retaining a pasture-based, profitable system.

Michael says the next season would continue to be challenging for dairy farmers, as they continue to focus on operating under the low milk price.

“The goal to support profitable farm systems has not changed. Being more efficient and utilising pasture is key to locking in the gains in operating costs, as milk price moves to a more sustainable level.”

For more information on the AGM or DairyNZ’s annual results, visit dairynz.co.nz/annualreport.

-ENDS-

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