Showing supportfor our dairy farmersWell it looks like the big multi-million dollar companies have bitten off more than they can chew when they took on the dairy farmers.
We all know and have known for years that the poor farmers do it tough. I am sure that the farmers appreciate now how grateful we are as consumers now they see the support they are getting from their communities. Doesn’t it make you proud to be Australian when we all stand together and say enough is enough. To be able to take a moral stand and bite back at them.
We have let them know that it doesn’t matter how much they discount their product. The cheap milk is soured by the grief of the farmers and their families and until they get a fair deal it will not pass our lips.
We are proud to be behind our farmers in the south-west.
David MacPhail, Warrnambool
Private sector needs to reward farmersMurray Goulburn suppliers are suppressing their power if they remain complacent about the recent farm milk gate price clawback. Whilst the cooperative structure is not what it once was, farmers’ rights in the structure are substantial and should be exercised to ensure that the board’s decision is not tolerated now or in the future.
The clawback has not taken account of the message relayed by Murray Goulburn in the 2015 restructure that‘Murray Goulburn is pursuing an optimum Capital Structure that will see 100 per centsupplier control of the co-operative maintained…This growth strategy has the aim of increasing farm gate returns to our suppliers who are at the heart of our business’.
By signing up to a class action, unit-holding farmers should not be thought of as ‘going after their own’ but rather ensuring that they remain at the heart of the Murray Goulburn business. The action could be brought by way of a potential injunction or compensation for the clawback, which may be financed by the board’s professional indemnity insurers.
It is of course almost to be expected that Murray Goulburn will maintain a strategy of broadcasting a message that any farmer action will damage shareholders and potentially cause the demise of Murray Goulburn, however I think the Murray Goulburn agenda speaking against a class action is clear to all.
Governments cannot sustain handouts. It is up to the private sector to ensure that there is lasting restitution for the dairy farmers and the local economy which they support. As outlined by the Federal Court‘It has been long recognised that shareholder class actions hold corporations and their officers to account above and beyond any penalties imposed in the regulatory regimes and so contribute to a culture of good corporate governance.’
Nb:Although the author is a solicitor, he is not involved in any existing class-action and writes in his capacity as a member of a dairy farming family (non-Murray Goulburn suppliers) with concern for the future of this important industry.
Edward Mahony, Warrnambool
Murray Goulburn’s take on the dairy crisisSince announcing our revised farmgate price five weeks ago, Murray Goulburn Co-operative has been justifiably criticised for letting our farmer-suppliers down and causing industry turmoil.
And while the debate about Murray Goulburn and the dairy industry more broadly will continue for some time, it’s important that it does so with knowledge of the facts.
Australians love their dairy, in fact we have one of the highest rates of dairy consumption in the world. However, the country produces around 35 percent more milk than it can possibly consume and that milk supply has to find a market elsewhere.
Murray Goulburn is Australia’s largest dairy exporter and we derive around half our sales from international markets.
As a result we are more exposed than most Australian dairy companies to the vagaries of commodity markets and foreign exchange. Dairy commodity markets have fallen sharply in the past year, trading at levels not seen since the global financial crisis – when Australian processors were also forced to reduce farmgate milk prices.
Murray Goulburn has navigated this difficult environment by producing dairy food products and added value ingredients which deliver higher returns and reduce exposure to bulk commodities. Ultimately these efforts were not enough.
Supermarket brands have been singled out as one of the causes of dairy’s woes, but in fact the opposite is true. Our 10-year daily pasteurised milk supply contract with Coles is a very good deal for our farmers.It delivers a premium above the farmgate milk price and a guaranteed market for our farmers’ milk. It has helped secure much needed investment in the sector.
So while I applaud the support consumers have shown for the dairy industry, boycotting supermarket brand milk in the end doesn’t help our farmers or our industry.It doesn’t matter which milk you buy, what matters is that you keep buying milk and all the other dairy products you love to consume. Global commodity markets will rebalance in time, but the timing of that recovery is beyond our control.
What is in our control is how we invest our capital to deliver value above whatever commodity markets deliver and that we continue in our efforts to carry our suppliers through this downturn, which is delivering unsustainable milk prices to dairy farmers throughout the world. We remain confident of the long term prospects for Australia’s dairy industry and that improved milk prices will ultimately return for our farmers.
Philip Tracy, chairman Murray Goulburn Co-operative Co. Limited
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.