Australian businessman Dick Smith took aim at economic greed and globalisation for the problems faced by the Australian dairy industry at Wednesday's Farmer Power meeting in Tongala.ASHLEA KUNOWSKI February 15, 2013 4:22am
Dick Smith has blamed the problems faced by the Australian dairy industry on ‘‘globalisation gone mad’’.
Speaking at the Farmer Power crisis meeting in Tongala this week, the popular entrepreneur blamed economic greed for Australia’s recent status as a major importer of processed food.
‘‘We have an economic system that requires perpetual growth in profits,’’ he said.
‘‘It’s we, the typical shareholder in Australia, who insists on those extra profits so inadvertently we end up screwing the farmers down.’’
Mr Smith said while the situation had become problematic, it would continue to be an inevitable part of corporate business.
‘‘It’s not what we want to do, but it’s the result of insisting on having our shares grow in value,’’ he said.
He said it would be up to the Federal Government to reassess their economic strategy, which was currently failing Australian agriculture and business by not supporting local farmers.
‘‘We need to have discussions on a political level on how we run our economy with a different type of growth,’’ he said.
While Mr Smith’s own success has been driven by innovation, he said the current global situation would likely dictate the future changes in the Australian dairy industry.
With the big two supermarkets forcing the domestic milk prices down, he said there may be a move towards importing cheaper milk products.
‘‘I believe with globalisation there will be pressure to go to UHT in Australia so they can buy it from China — anywhere,’’ he said.
‘‘They’ll realise they can’t force the farmer any lower so they’ll go to UHT so they can import it from Swaziland or China.
‘‘That’s what’s happening in Europe
However, Mr Smith said consumers would buy Australian-made produce if there was a choice, likening the dairy industry situation to his current Heinz beetroot lawsuit.
‘‘They thought they could go to New Zealand and everyone would buy the crap
Mr Smith told the crowd farmers would have to become more vocal if they wanted change.
‘‘They should be more outspoken, they should be out there saying their milk is better quality and they should have a special brand that Aussie farmers think that’s better quality,’’ he said.
While his Australia Day commercials were banned, he said it was an important step for the agriculture industry.
‘‘We had over half a million hits
The Bureau of Meteorology has released a severe weather warning for regions that include Shepparton. It includes damaging winds and the potential for flash flooding.
Pete O’Neill and Abby Hicks are national champions at the completion of the 2015 Australian Barefoot Championships held last week.
GVAC women Rachel Pratt and Jacquie Fitzpatrick showed the men, and the large crowd at Rushworth Speedway on Saturday, March 28, they have what it takes when competing in the men’s classes.
Two international backpackers have taken aim at contractors who hired them to pick fruit in the region without payment.
Rochester boxing coach Chris Trewin and his team of dedicated trainers have been hitting the bag for more than six months and the results are beginning to show.
Local MP calls for community applications
A special event will take place at Pioneer Park on Sunday.
Jerilderie's born and bred Madeleine Harris has been recognised for her banking and finance career
Concerned Costerfield residents had the chance to voice their antimony health concerns last week after an independent facilitator was appointed.
Strathmerton clinched a win in the high-scoring game against Mathoura on the weekend in the PDFL North West competition.
Deniliquin swimming dynamo Stephen Dalzell has finished 13th overall in his preferred event at the Australian Age Championships.
Murray Goulburn Co-operative has set a date for a special meeting to vote on a new capital structure.
Emergency services are on scene of a two-car crash on the Midland Hwy, near Benalla. Two people have died. Traffic is being diverted.
Discover unbelievable local deals from local businesses every week in the Goulburn and Murray Valley area with Leapon.com.au!
Search properties for sale or rent across North Central Victoria and Southern NSW. Visit your local website for local homes....
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.