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TAS Country : February 2nd 2012
Friday, February 3, 2012 Tasmanian Country 3 News Levy funds for fight CATTLE transaction levies could fund the Cattle Council of Australia in its battle with animal activit- sts.The council is proposing to broaden its represen- tation and secure its fund- ing and future by seeking a percentage of the $3.66 marketing component of the $5-a-head transaction levy. But, to avoid the plan producers opposed to the diversion would be able to opt out. Their levy would then be used by Meat and Live- stock Australia only for marketing purposes. Council president And- rew Ogilvie said the pro- posals were a starting point for major reform and restructure of represen- tation for Australia's grass- fed cattle producers. The Cattle Council was the best resourced of the National Farmers Federation's com- modity groups, but Mr Ogilvie said its $1.3 million budget was unsustainable. Affiliated state farm or- ganisations contributed only $230,000. A further $540,000 came from the Red Meat Advisory Council, with the remaining $550,000 from sponsor- ships. ''The RSPCA has a budget of $90 million and the animal activist groups have millions of dollars of community donations,'' Leonard Vallance, chair- man of the Victorian Far- mers Federation's cattle committee, said. ''How can we compete, with only $1.3 million?'' Mr Vallance said most of the council's work in- volved fighting animal ac- tivists. Farmers fear new price war NICK CLARK FARMERS fear that farmgate prices for fruit and vegetables will be hit by a new price war between Coles and Woolworths. In its ongoing battle for market share Coles has pledged to cut prices on a range of vegetables and fruit by up to 50 per cent. The two supermarket giants hold about 80 per cent of the retail food market. The National Farmers' Federation president Jock Laurie said that con- sumers needed to understand that a cut in prices may be good for their hip pocket in the short-term but that it was not necessarily positive for farmers who grow the produce. ''We are seeking an iron-clad guaran- tee that farmgate prices will not be slashed in line with this pricing,'' Mr Laurie said. Industry sources say that Coles is taking advantage of short-term surplu- ses in some vegetables and fruits to reduce prices to producers. Coles however says it is offering a fair market price to producers in return for taking additional volume. ''There have been some bumper harvests and we are giving growers more certainty around volume,'' spokesman Jon Church said. Mr Laurie said that news of the price cuts had come on the same day as a UN report, which warned that not enough food might be produced for the world's booming population. ''Unless food production increases demand will outstrip supply, which means the cost of food will increase for consumers at home and abroad,'' he said. Policy and advocacy manager with the Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association Nick Steel said that the present pricing regime would not be good in the medium to long-term. Farmers needed sustainable prices that took into account the cost of production. He said that the $1 a litre milk war had hurt NSW and Queensland dairy farmers whose product was used for drinking -- rather than value-adding like much of Tasmanian production. ''What happens is that farmers are OK while they have contracts but when the contracts finish the farmgate price is reduced,'' Mr Steel said. Granton tomato grower Nick Crack- nell said that growers could not with- stand 50 per cent cuts to their prices. ''Wages, fertiliser, electricity and water prices have all increased substantially,'' he said. To Page 7 Glut in onions, P5 READY TO GO: Jenny Edis is the driving force behind the new market. Picture: ROSS MARSDEN Green light for market EMMA HOPE and ALICE CLARIDGE WHILE Australia's two major supermarkets are at war over fresh vegetables, traditional farmers markets are enjoying strong community support in Tasmania. Two of the market newcomers are at Launceston and New Norfolk. The first market has not even been held yet, but the new Harvest Launceston Community Farmers Market has already been hailed as a success. With 30 stalls booked for the inaugural market, to be held on February 11, it seems the farmers market is just what the region needed to showcase northern Tasmania's fine produce. Market president Jenny Edis said she had researched the concept and put a lot of time and effort into making it come to fruition. ''We did a feasibility study and surveyed 200 people in the community,'' she said. ''So many people wanted a market and we were surprised by the knowledge people had about farmers markets. ''They seemed to know straight away what we meant, and when we asked them why, predominantly the answers were to support local farmers and producers and also as something to do on a Saturday morning in town.'' Stalls already registered include fruit and vegetables, meat, dairy products, bakery goods, and wines. ''We have got some big producers like 41 Degrees Salmon, Meander Valley Dairy,'' she said. ''But also on the other end of the scale we are wanting to use the market as a platform for some small- scale producers and those people who are sitting at home who do something really well but don't want to launch into retail just yet for To Page 5 Open Day Saturday 18th February 2012 10am-2pm Open Day Saturday 18th February 2012 10am-2pm Enquiries: Allan 0409 210 628 or Paul 0418318989 Come along and see the TasVawt 10kw in operation and learn more about these exciting Wind Turbines new to Australia. Location: 238 Upper Stowport Road, Stowport BBQ lunch & refreshments supplied 2033264-120203 2059410-120203 OFFSET DISCS RELIABILITY IS OUR STANDARD www.delmade.com.au FREECALL 1800 335 623 TASMANIAN ALKALOIDS Value Adding in Tasmania Please remove any hidden obstacles in your poppy paddocks while they can still be seen and ensure access is clear. Delays are costly for everyone. 2058225-120127 Drainage doesn't cost "It Pays" Lifetime of crop insurance 100% Tas Deductible Salinity Control Phone Tas Land Drainage on 0418 130 464 for a Free on site consultation and beat the autumn rush 2074746-120203
January 26th 2012
February 9th 2012