Silk cobwebs delicately cover the paddock.
Showing some #dairylove
Photo taken in March whilst we were sowing pasture on a local dairy farm.
The Australian dairy industry is in strife. Milk prices paid to farmers by the two biggest milk processors were slashed last month to below the cost of production. But not just a price cut from that day - it was done retrospectively for the full financial year. So, in the eyes of those 2 companies, dairy farmers were “overpaid” for 10 months, and they want that money back… with interest. The fallout from this over the last 3 weeks has been understandably a mixture of anger, despair and disbelief. Some farmers have sold all their cows to the meat processors and stopped milking; some have cut back their milking herd. All are cutting costs, cancelling feed orders, laying off staff and sadly some have even taken their own lives after seeing no way out.
We both grew up on dairy farms. Our grandparents were dairy farmers, our parents were dairy farmers, and we were dairy farmers before deciding to take a different direction in farming. We now supply feed into the dairy industry and do a lot of contracting on dairy farms. Our district has milk running through its veins. When the dairy farmers hurt, the whole district feels it.
In the last week the dairy farmer’s plight has gained nationwide attention in mainstream media pushed by a social media campaign raising awareness. There is a growing momentum from both rural and city consumers who are outraged that dairy farmers could be treated this way.
Supermarkets driving down the prices ultimately devalues the products, to the point where it makes it unsustainable for the farmer to grow that product. And this should be a wakeup call for all consumers. We all need to value our food more, and question where it comes from. Good fresh food costs money to produce. Buy local, buy fresh. Support your local farmers… wherever in the world you live.