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
It was a joyous occasion for Shepparton High School’s Year 12 students as they celebrated their last day of school yesterday.
The 2014 Yarrawonga Mulwala Multisport Festival has been hailed a huge success by organisers and participants alike.
The fifth annual King Billy Retreat Open Garden Party will be held at Rushworth on Saturday and Sunday, October 25-26, from 10 am to 4 pm.
Echuca College students Calum Pearson, Luke Judd, Kiriana Epararma, Harriet Nilon, Kyle Melhuish and Stephanie Chong are heading to China.
A former Rochester resident is helping women with their confidence and their horses.
Accusations of bullying, disrespect and dangerous conduct.
And the school's best all-rounder for this year.
Finley's Mark Whiley has been traded from the GWS Giants to Carlton - the club he has supported all his life.
District residents are being invited to enjoy Oktooberfest celebrations at Tooborac Hotel and Brewery.
Momentum builds for the greatest show in Cobram, with young and old expected to lap up family attractions in sunny conditions.
Water users have welcomed the governments' announcement of a $350 million package for new irrigation efficiency programs in NSW, but say water availability is in need of improvement.
Farmers and anyone interested in big boys’ toys will be fascinated to check out an unmanned helicopter in action at an Ardmona orchard.
Judge comments, If I were single, I'd marry this steak!
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.