Politicians learn about dairy industry crisis

FARM VISIT: State Agriculture Minister Jaala Pulford, left, Corangamite Labor candidate Libby Coker, far right, and the Federal Opposition’s agriculture spokesman Joel Fitzgibbon, second from right, met with Colac district farmers at Brooke and Clint Theodore’s Alvie farm to discuss milk price cuts.

FARM VISIT: State Agriculture Minister Jaala Pulford, left, Corangamite Labor candidate Libby Coker, far right, and the Federal Opposition’s agriculture spokesman Joel Fitzgibbon, second from right, met with Colac district farmers at Brooke Lane and Clint Theodore’s Alvie farm to discuss milk price cuts.

Colac district farmers have taken time to speak with state and federal politicians about the impacts and concerns stemming from milk price cuts.

The Federal Opposition’s agriculture spokesman Joel Fitzgibbon, state Agriculture Minister Jaala Pulford and Corangamite Labor candidate Libby Coker travelled to an Alvie dairy farm yesterday to meet with farmers and discuss their concerns.

Murray Goulburn announced its first mid-season milk price drop in about seven years on April 27, cutting its 2015-16 farmgate milk price of $5.60 a kilogram of milk solids to between $4.75 and $5.00 kgms.

Fonterra followed with a price cut a week later dropping its opening 2015-16 farmgate milk price from $5.60 kgms to $5.00 kgms.

Both companies have offered suppliers a support loan to make up for losses, but both cuts are retrospective, forcing suppliers to pay money back to the companies.

Ms Pulford said the on-farm visit would allow her to learn firsthand what concerns farmers had and help build a support package.

For the full story see today’s Colac Herald.

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