Call for farmers to support MG

27 Jul, 2017 09:53 AM
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Craig Dettling: the tough situation for dairyfarmers in Western Australia and Queensland highlights what can happen when there is not a dairy co-operative with a large presence in the market.
Dairy co-operatives, in contrast, aimed to maximise returns for farmers at the farmgate.
Craig Dettling: the tough situation for dairyfarmers in Western Australia and Queensland highlights what can happen when there is not a dairy co-operative with a large presence in the market.

Murray Goulburn (MG) supplier Craig Dettling of Macarthur Craig Dettling is asking fellow Murray Goulburn (MG) suppliers to take a long-term view rather than join the rush away from the dairy co-operative.

Mr Dettling was commenting on the 15 per cent drop in milk supply that MG expects to incur this season after farmers switched their supply following MG’s big cuts to its farmgate milk price last season.

Mr Dettling said the current tough situation for dairyfarmers in Western Australia and Queensland highlighted what could happen when there was not a dairy co-operative with a large presence in the market.

Some WA dairy farmers have struggled to find buyers for their milk while poor milk prices in Queensland have prompted several dairyfarmers to leave the industry.

Mr Dettling said history had shown that dairy-producing areas throughout the world that did not have a co-operative had been “left with farmers who have been at the mercy of proprietary companies”.

Proprietary dairy companies had shown no evidence they would give more in the milk prices they paid to farmers than they had to, he said.

Dairy co-operatives, in contrast, aimed to maximise returns for farmers at the farmgate, Mr Dettling said.

He realised there were some MG suppliers who could not afford to remain with MG but urged those who could afford to remain to do so.

Mr Dettling said MG suppliers who were unhappy with MG’s performance should be taking action to improve their returns.

“It’s up to suppliers and members to drive the co-operative,” he said.

MG is this season offering a forecast full year milk price of $5.20-$5.50 a kilogram milk solids, behind that of Fonterra, which is paying a conditional $5.70-$6.10 kg MS.

Warrnambool Cheese and Butter’s opening price for this milk season is $5.50 kg MS.

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