Time is right for building milk producer confidence

Fair milk price now more important than ever

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Dairy group president says a fair milk price for dairy farmers is now more important than ever.

Mark your calendars for early June, 2020.

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FAIR GO: Paul Mumford, president ofUnited Dairyfarmers of Victoria, says there is no better time to try to rebuild confidence in Australia's dairy sector.

FAIR GO: Paul Mumford, president ofUnited Dairyfarmers of Victoria, says there is no better time to try to rebuild confidence in Australia's dairy sector.

For many, this signals the official start of winter in what has been a relatively favourable start to the year rainfall-wise. It also heralds the all-important opening milk prices from processers.

This year, COVID-19 has highlighted the critical role our primary industries have in maintaining our supply chain - and the dairy industry has played a major part in this.

There is no doubt there is a level of uncertainty, given the pandemic circumstances, but milk processers must ensure they are maximising returns to the dairy farmgate with a strong opening milk price.

This will create a level of confidence for the dairy industry which is operating in a time of unprecedented uncertainty and allow dairy farmers to build and maintain some sort of financial buffer at the farmgate.

On the other hand, any opening prices with a 'five' in front will signal a drastic re-think by farmers and some forced out.

If we did see an opening milk price around the $6 mark, we will most likely see a reduction in the national milk pool and many dairy farmers would sit idle contemplating their future growth.

For dairy farmers across Victoria, while we await the June 1 deadline, it is important we all evaluate our own farming systems and determine what will work best for our own farms moving forward.

If we do see low prices, it is very important that we understand our business systems and how profit is generated.

This will help us achieve a better outcome on-farm and generate greater confidence and profitability in our industry.

We are living in extraordinary times, but there's no better time than the present to sure-up and rebuild confidence in one of our most important primary industries - with a fair opening milk price.

- Paul Mumford, United Dairyfarmers of Victoria president

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