ADF questions proposed reimbursements

15 May, 2017 11:11 AM
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John McQueen:
Not only has trust and respect been damaged but so too has industry confidence.
John McQueen: "Trust and respect are important parts of any business relationship and this has been lost for many farmers who supplied and currently supply MG and Fonterra.

Australian Dairy Farmers (ADF) has questioned Fonterra's and Murray Goulburn's decisions to not reimburse farmers who no longer supply them for last year's clawbacks.

"There are serious questions that must be answered about the fairness and equity of the financial impacts and treatment of those who had to move to other processors," interim ADF chief executive officer John McQueen said.

The actions of MG and Fonterra in late April/early May last year caused enormous heartache for farmers and the industry.

"Those impacted were hit hard," Mr McQueen said in a member update on Monday.

"It will take a long time for the farmers to recover and rebuild not just financially but their herd sizes, their confidence, and their emotional well-being."

Mr McQueen said these financial hits on farmers should never have happened.

"Through no fault of their own, farmers who left MG or Fonterra, did so because they had no other financial option," he said.

The lack of reimbursement to these farmers from changes to MG's Milk Supply Support Package and Fonterra Australia's Support Loans Package appears discriminatory and unfair.

While ADF acknowledges that both MG and Fonterra will be reimbursing existing (and retired) suppliers, they have both made a point to deny those farmers who are no longer suppliers, yet were equally financially disadvantaged.

ADF believes that farmers who were financially forced to leave their processor should not be forced to continue to bear the cost of processor actions.

"Trust and respect are important parts of any business relationship and this has been lost for many farmers who supplied and currently supply MG and Fonterra," Mr McQueen said.

"Not only has trust and respect been damaged but so too has industry confidence, and this will take a long time to restore.

"To ensure a positive future, our industry relies on all the elements to operate effectively.

"Now more than ever, the dairy industry needs to remain focused and united in its goals to achieve a shared vision of improving the profitability and sustainability of dairyfarmers and the entire dairy industry in Australia."

Mr McQueen said ADF would continue to work with both processors and farmers to rebuild confidence and trust.

"It will take time and will require a commitment by processors to treat their farmers as equal partners and with the respect they deserve," he said.

Australian Dairy Farmers
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READER COMMENTS

Jerome
15/05/2017 12:34:28 PM, on Australian Dairyfarmer

Where was the ADF support for dairy farmers back in April 2016? Nobody from ADF spoke out against the Debt Clawback Schemes. MGC and Fonterra dairy farmers should not trust anybody, including the ADF, but especially their own farmer-appointed Board Members.
David Burstyner
17/05/2017 10:58:57 AM, on Australian Dairyfarmer

Farmers angry at the unfairness to them or to other farmers who switched, and / or who are feeling the financial pinch because this isn't enough to make up for the April / May 2016 disaster, are registering their interest for the Class Action (which is at no cost for farmers). These latest announcements show the same processor attitude which caused the 2015/2016 disaster - promises of high prices early in the season to seduce more milk from farmers, but silent about the possibility of step downs (More here: http://www.adleyburstyner.com.au/ farmers-farm-gate-milk-price-acti on

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