Australian dairy farmers are not looking for reactionary trade barriers to help fight off the impact of export subsidies in Europe, but they are calling for some help at home, starting with the delay of the emissions trading scheme.
Australian Dairy Farmers president, Alan Burgess, said there are plenty of things the Federal Government could do to help buffer the impact of the massive slump in dairy prices — between 30 and 40% almost overnight — which have been exacerbated by the European Union decision to reintroduce export subsidies for a range of dairy products.
Burgess said similar help for farmers domestically would be “so far from where Australian farmers have been” and reversing the country’s opposition to trade barriers would be of no help.
But he said short-term measures, including delaying the start of the emissions trading or carbon pollution reduction scheme would help stem what he says will have “major financial implications” on the industry.
“The Government needs to rethink some of its policy proposals, including the ETS which, as it’s proposed in the white paper, will have a huge impact on the dairy industry and broader food processing sector,” Burgess said.
“The food industry is really one supply chain.
“When the ETS is introduced there will be higher costs for the processing sector and we know those costs are going to flow back to the farmer.
“That would be a particularly bad thing in these difficult times and we would urge the government to see the entire dairy industry as one, not farmers separate from processors.”
— Stock & Land