Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Trading terms against Australia

Ausbuy chief executive Lynne Wilkinson said loss of ownership of land and food processing equated to loss of control.

February 19, 2013 4:10am

Lynne Wilkinson from Aus Buy addresses the meeting.

Ausbuy chief executive Lynne Wilkinson said loss of ownership of land and food processing equated to loss of control.

Ms Wilkinson told last week’s Tongala dairy crisis meeting the Australian agricultural industry should strive to retain ownership, to ensure decisions, profits, jobs and reinvestment stayed in the country.

‘‘The ACCC has deliberately dismantled control and assets beyond the farmgate,’’ she said.

Ms Wilkinson said every major food commodity except rice was controlled by foreign interests.

‘‘We talk about deregulation, and what we have done is take control out of the supply chain,’’ she said.

She said 75 per cent of our dairy brands were owned by foreign interests.

Ms Wilkinson said Free Trade Agreement was a misnomer.

‘‘The issue is they are not free trades, they’re on their terms, not ours,’’ she said.

She gave the example of the Free Trade Agreement with the United States, which saw Australian products competing against American products that had been government subsidised.

‘‘How can they sell food that has been imported when farmers are being told to dig their trees into the ground?

‘‘Between you and the big two (supermarkets), global companies are having a party — and if they’re not having a party with you, they will leave.’’

According to Ausbuy research, on-farm income has been in decline for the past 20 years.

She congratulated Farmer Power on bringing farmers together and said it was the start of an exciting journey.

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