A reality check for Jon Morgan in response to his editorial “Dairy farmers unfairly cop the blame over water quality“
I’m not sure how factual events, like the Selwyn River being declared unsafe to swim in, or DairyNZ not having a complaint against Greenpeace upheld, represent “unfair attacks on dairy farming”. They are simply reality.
It’s a shame that Mr Morgan has tried to derail the discussion by interpreting any criticism of the impacts of the dairy industry as a personal attack on “dairying families”. No industry should be above criticism, and while I don’t believe it’s fair to attack all farmers, we have to be able to have these conversations if farming is to retain its “social license” to operate. The dairy industry (especially its commentators, leaders and industry bodies) ignore public perception at their peril. Continue reading “Reply to Jon Morgan”
First published: Farmers Weekly 13 April 2015
The government’s Business Growth Agenda demands we double food exports (mainly dairy) by 2025. Even if we could do that with the current state of the art, where would we put the millions of additional cows required? Which rivers and lakes should we sacrifice? Which rural communities will shoulder the crippling debt of dairy conversions? Growth for it’s own sake is the methodology of the cancer cell. That cannot be our future.
The message that’s missing is a clear vision of our sustainable agricultural future. An agricultural sector that progressively decouples itself from volatile commodity prices; that rewards farmers with greater value-add income, not just ever increasing costs in a race to the bottom; and that is truly environmentally sustainable. The only winning future for our dairy industry is one that acknowledges our limits, then makes the best of working within them.