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Streamlined dairy representation a win for dairy farmers

16 August 2012

The National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) has welcomed the decision by the majority of state farmer groups to approve a new constitution for the national peak dairy body, Australian Dairy Farmers.

NFF CEO Matt Linnegar said the new constitution would allow greater representation of dairy farmers at a national level.

“Australian Dairy Farmers already has a seat at the national policy decision-making table of the NFF – the decision to streamline the constitution simply allows this seat to be even stronger,” Mr Linnegar said.

“The ability for Australian agriculture to speak with one voice is crucial for us to be heard: be it on a commodity level, a state level, or the national level.

“In making this change, Australian Dairy Farmers will become a stronger voice for the dairy sector, at a time when dairy farmers are facing major challenges. Unsustainable pricing practices and the impact on farm gate milk prices continues to be one of the most prominent and sustained issues that the dairy sector has had to face in recent years: and it shows no sign of abating.

“Ensuring the collective voice of the dairy sector is heard in this debate – and the many policy decisions that impact the dairy sector – is critical.

“The dairy sector in Australia has shrunk by two-thirds over the past 30 years, yet at the same time, dairy production has doubled. To ensure a strong and sustainable future for this important part of Australian agriculture, it is essential that farmers’ concerns are heard.

“Australian Dairy Farmers has been working towards this restructure for two years. The new constitution will allow the national representative to focus on policy and advocacy issues so that dairy farmers are well represented in national debates.

“Perhaps most importantly, all dairy farmers in Australia can now join Australian Dairy Farmers via their state organisation – meaning a more powerful voice, and a national body that is directly accountable to grassroots farmers. We urge all dairy farmers to get behind the new Australian Dairy Farmers,” Mr Linnegar said.

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