The first meeting of Dairy Connect – a new advocacy arm for dairy farmers – was a resounding success according to NSW Farmers’ Dairy Committee Chairman, Paul Timbs.
The meeting, held at Bomaderry Bowling Club, was well attended with representatives from Moss Vale, Jamberoo, Gerringong and Nowra present.
Mr Timbs said Dairy Connect had worked for the past four years with governments, supermarkets and milk vendors to find amicable solutions during what he described as the current “unsustainable market”.
This is a mission of peace though, something Mr Timbs is very vocal about.
“After one dollar milk, people were talking about protests and all sorts of wacky stuff like that. We don’t want to do that. We don’t want to go down that path like they did in the UK where farmers blockaded the factories,” Mr Timbs said.
“Supermarkets need to survive too. If we don’t work with them it will only get worse. They’re hurting just like everyone else.
“We are absolutely confident we will be able to sit down and discuss a way to move forward,” he said.
With this first meeting and talks with many bodies, including the NSW Farmers Association, the Department of Primary Industry and the NSW Dairy Industry – Mr Timbs believes a light at the end of the tunnel is beginning to emerge.
“We needed a strong working relationship with other bodies and it is great that it’s beginning to take shape,” he said.
“After all, milk is a price point in supermarkets,” he said.
“Have you ever wondered why they keep it up the back? So that you buy something on the way through.
“It is one of the main reasons people come into the shops.”