PLANS to set up a NSW/Queensland dairy farmer organisation to advocate for fresh milk producers under one banner are moving forward, according to Dairy Connect Farmers Group president, Graham Forbes.
After "months of negotiations" between Dairy Connect Farmers Group and the Queensland Dairyfarmers' Organisation, the new eastAUSmilk is taking shape.
"Our two organisations are moving towards forming a single dairy farmer organisation to best represent NSW/Qld under the name eastAUSmilk, with the 'AUS' standing for Advocacy, Unity and Service," the Gloucester dairy farmer said.
"Those of us who have been working towards achieving this outcome believe firmly in the themes and culture that we intend to bring to this new dairy farmer organisation.
The recent statewide COVID lockdown means that visits to dairy regions haven't been possible, but Graham hopes they will soon be able to seek producer views face-to-face.
"However, if we are not able to do so because of COVID-19 or for some other reason, any dairy farmer will be able to join representatives of the Dairy Connect Farmers Group when we hold a webinar to discuss the consultation issues paper," Graham explained.
Dairy Connect chief executive officer Shaughn Morgan said this is an opportunity for dairy farmers to ask any questions or raise issues.
"Dairy farmer engagement and their taking ownership are vital to the overall success of this merger," Shaughn said.
"The systemic issues that the Australian dairy industry is confronting will not go away overnight and indeed we need to ensure that we remain strong and viable with a sustainable dairy industry into the future."
The establishment of eastAUSmilk will provide strong dairy farmer representation and advocacy, as agreed and outlined in the Australian Dairy Plan, for dairy farmers in the two states.
Shaughn said he did not intend to go through the discussion paper but rather allow producers the opportunity to read the paper and consider those matters they may wish to raise.
"Vitally, the paper provides an outline of matters discussed and some of these issues still need to be settled but it provides a guide as to how we believe the merged organisation will operate into the future," he said.
Producers are welcome contact Graham Forbes on 0419 448-613 or email email@example.com or Shaughn on 0401 421-214 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss the matter further. That paper is available to view and comment upon by clicking here or contacting Graham or Shaughn.
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