Major change is needed, the processors and supermarkets have the majority of the power at the moment and it’s sending farmers to the wall. Farmers need to have a fair slice of the pie and as a young farmer (sub 30) there is no way young ones want into an industry where its very easily visible that at the current point in time the farmers are struggling and don’t receive a fair price for their product. The power has to shift fast or younger ones like myself will be out the backdoor and will have to the door shut on their dreams and it’ll be left to the big corporates but that’s probably what the factories want, it seems they get what they want.
Agree average farmer age is a clear warning sign to industry. Most farmers I know have kids not interested in working 7 days a week for the returns or the farmers themselves want a 'better' life for their kids. Ours just said the other day they dont think there is a future. Its sad. Many are older and trialling once a day as a way of balancing life a bit, but it also drops returns which is fine if you have lower debt. Not the case for new entrants to the industry.
Agree re supermarkets. They do not do farmers any favours. They have too much power. Australian culture of consumer is king is very short term focussed. Is dairy to follow manufacturing, car industry, dairy imports are a threat. Years ago the producer earned the largest slice of the pie, i dont think that is true now.
Corporate investors want a return on their investment. In its current state can industry pay that level of return. Are institutional investors prepared to take the lower returns a famiy farmer might accept because they have a bigger picure? Dont imagine corporate guaranteees professionalism - Ive had employees who couldnt get payslips out of farms owned by a global corporate. It all comes down to power imbalance in the supply chain all the way through to the consumer. Farmer Dave I hope things improve fast for you.
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