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Dairy Insight Has Key Role In Industry's Future

Dairy InSight has a key role to play in shaping the dairy industry's future.

Speaking at its first annual meeting in Wellington today, Chairman Ian Robb says the long term security and future of the dairy industry is dependent on the industry being open to new ideas, uplifting of technology and maintaining its position as a cost effective industry.

"Dairy InSight - through the mechanisms that we have - has an opportunity to take a lead in this."

He says changes to how industry good activities are funded will ensure Dairy InSight's 17,000 farmer members control where their funds are invested.

>From June 1 this year, Dairy InSight began collecting a 3.4c/kg milksolids (plus GST) levy under the Commodity Levies Act. Dairy farmers became aware of their actual contribution to these activities, which had previously been undertaken by the Dairy Board.

"The changes that have taken place ensure that dairy companies and service providers no longer have the greatest influence in industry good investments. Farmer members now control where their funds are invested," Mr Robb said.

"If farmers do not feel they are getting the return from their industry good investment, we encourage them to ask questions."

Mr Robb also acknowledged the work by Dairy InSight's Interim Board, and in particular, it's Chairman Alan Frampton.

"One of the dairy industry's visionary members, Alan is well respected by all stakeholders and providers of services to the dairy industry. He also has a very strong commitment to research for innovation and knowledge, and growing the industry through these facets."

Chief Executive Peter Bodeker said the most important achievement in the 2002/2003 year had been the securing of the levy to fund industry good activities.

Other achievements included a farmer consultation programme to prioritise what activities farmers want funded and selecting 94 projects for funding in this 2003/2004 year.

Dairy InSight was formed in 2001 as an independent dairy farmer-owned organisation irrespective of the dairy company a farmer suppliers.

"We have been established in a way which makes our activities much more transparent and accountable than ever before," Mr Bodeker said.

Both Mr Robb and Mr Bodeker acknowledged concerns expressed at the meeting by Dairy Farmers of New Zealand representatives on the organisation's 'preferred supplier' relationship with Dexcel.

"We do have a special relationship with Dexcel and we will have accountability and transparency with Dexcel. There is no bulk funding," Mr Robb said.

Dairy InSight was also complemented for its Let's Talk Dairying promotional programme, as a positive initiative to lift the industry's image and attract new entrants.

The result of a postal ballot to appoint KPMG as auditor was announced, with it being successful.

About 30 people attended the meeting at Dairy InSight's offices on The Terrace.




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