Farmers are joining Twitter to campaign for a positive China-Australia Free Trade Agreement (FTA) for agriculture.September 2, 2014 3:00am
Farmers are joining Twitter to campaign for a positive China-Australia Free Trade Agreement (FTA) for agriculture.
Selfies and the Twitter hashtags #FTA4dairy and #FTA4farmers began surfacing on the social media platform last Wednesday.
The negotiations for the China FTA have been in the works since 2005 and a FTA for dairy exports would save the industry more than $30
Mead dairy farmer and North Central Catchment Authority board member Dianne Bowles milks 200 cows with her husband Gary and has been active on Twitter since 2009.
She said an FTA was vital to the dairy industry for it to be profitable in the future.
‘‘We have had other FTAs in the past, such as the FTA with Japan, which we didn’t benefit from,’’ Mrs Bowles said.
‘‘But a FTA with China will benefit every farmer and we need to work together — there is more power in the bigger number.’’
Undera dairy farmer and Australian Dairy Farmer of the Year finalist Sarah Parker is also on the Twitter bandwagon and milks 140 cows with her husband Raymond.
She said the FTA negotiations would be a win-win for all.
‘‘I’ve got a sister-in-law who is Chinese, so I can see it from both sides. There is so much demand for Australian dairy in China, but we are so limited by the trading costs and the prices are restricted,’’ Mrs Parker said.
‘‘People in China are growing in prosperity and wealth and want more access to fresh food. We supply for a boutique cheese company and there is a demand over there for soft cheese, so it’s an opportunity for us and a benefit to them.’’
An FTA for dairy would also create more jobs in the Australian dairy processing and manufacturing sectors.
The social media campaign was rallied by Australian Dairy Farmers (ADF), the VFF and United Dairyfarmers of Victoria as Australia faces tariffs of up to 25 per cent on beef into China, 12 to 15 per cent on our lamb and other sheep meat and 10 to 15 per cent on dairy produce.
The ADF’s social media campaign officially began on Monday and urged dairy farmers and their supporters to take a selfie with their FTA message.
VFF president Peter Tuohey also told Country News an FTA would benefit dairy farmers.
‘‘If you go over to New Zealand where they have an FTA with China, the dairy farmers are making an extra $400
He said Twitter was a great tool to highlight the importance of the FTA to the agriculture industry.
‘‘You can reach such a wide audience with Twitter and help the wider community understand these issues and highlight them to the government,’’ Mr Tuohey said.
‘‘That’s the main idea — we want to get the message through to the Federal Government.
‘‘It’s a hard deal to make with a lot of commodities to negotiate. But we need a good deal across all the commodities.’’
Mr Tuohey said he encouraged all farmers to join the conversation and to Tweet their local members of parliament.
One person is dead after a collision between a car and a truck on the Murray Valley Highway and Waaia Bearii Rd. Traffic is being diverted around the scene.
The first preliminary final on Saturday saw the Tungamah seniors start their campaign against Waaia at the Rennie Recreation Reserve.
The Aboriginal and wider community is mourning the death of revered Bangerang Aboriginal elder, Uncle John ‘‘Sandy’’ Atkinson.
CLAIRE Murphy came home the other day.
BE LIKE Barry — the video by Campaspe Shire to educate children about recycling — was launched at St Mary’s Primary School on Monday.
WYUNA’s Memorial Hall was filled with over 80 people for the recent launch of the Wyuna History Group’s third book by Wyuna History Group researcher Noel Thompson – Wyuna Honour Roll 1914-1918.
Avenel win over Nagambie to take top spot
Berrigan Shire councillor Daryll Morris says he has been sickened by some of the vitriol and personal attacks to surface since the council’s proposal to redevelop Finley’s Memorial Hall and School of Arts site was revealed in October last year.
WINE is meant to be enjoyed with good food and good friends.
The preparations for the 10th Cobram Swap Meet have been given a boost with a brand new line marker. The Rotary Club of Cobram, which organise the swap meet, applied for a volunteer grant from the Federal Government, from which it received $4600.
Deni’s Debutante Ball gurus Vicki Ackers and Deb O’Connor love working with youth.
Tuesday, August 16
The News magazines are online - read high quality magazines in your time. Check in regularly for the latest editions.
Riverine Herald's well regarded locally produced magazines. They're now online, so you can read them whenever and wherever you like.
Search for published and unpublished photos from McPherson Media Group newspapers and magazines. All our photos are available to purchase.
Place an advertisement in any one of McPherson Media Group's local newspapers.