Farming representation under review

24 Jun, 2014 02:00 AM
NFF president Brent Finlay.
We are determined that we achieve real and, if necessary, radical change
NFF president Brent Finlay.

THE National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) is encouraging farmers to head online and have their say on the future of farm sector representation in Australia.

NFF president Brent Finlay said Newgate Research had been appointed to undertake an independent review of industry representation across local, state and national levels.

“There is general consensus across our sector that our current system of representation is facing challenges," Mr Finlay said.

“We’re conscious that similar reviews have been conducted in the past but, without sufficient industry-wide buy-in, they have had little effect.

"This time around we are determined that we achieve real and, if necessary, radical change rather than more tinkering around the edges.

"This review is a big step forward in overcoming adversity and grasping the opportunities for having a 21st century farm voice."

Newgate Research has already conducted extensive consultations, including interviews with farming organisations and peak bodies, as well as focus groups with grass-roots farmers.

Farmers are now invited to take part in a quantitative study online. The survey will canvass views on the big-ticket issues and help identify what makes sector-wide representation most effective, Mr Finlay said.

In early 2014, a root-and-branch analysis of all levels of farm sector representation in Australia was initiated under the unified leadership of the NFF and its membership, including state-based farm organisations, commodity councils and associate members.

“This project is about creating an environment that supports the ability of farmers to operate profitably, while ensuring agriculture continues to be valued as an influential sector. It’s not about protecting peak representative jobs, or finding new ways to fund the existing structure.

“Everything is on the table. I encourage anyone with an interest in having an effective, consistent and powerful voice on behalf of Australian agriculture to get involved,” Mr Finlay said.

Farmers can register their interest on the Future of Farm Representation website. When the survey launches, registrants will be invited to participate.

National Farmers’ FederationSource:
Date: Newest first | Oldest first


Chick Olsson
24/06/2014 7:40:06 AM

As usual, no one we know has been consulted or contacted as NFF continues to be out of touch and out of date… Chick Olsson AWGA Goulburn NSW.
24/06/2014 8:22:33 AM

As long as we have free world market income, but “regulated domestic market cost of doing business” the industry will continue to decline as terms of trade decline to support the urban sector.
John Michelmore
24/06/2014 8:30:06 AM

This will be interesting, you head online , the survey asks for your details and then you might get an invitation to participate. John Michelmore United Stockowners of Australia
24/06/2014 9:14:55 AM

The thing that strikes me is that many of the farmer organisations are run by people who have more in common with politicians than with farmers/agribusiness.
24/06/2014 10:49:52 AM

While famer group leadership may be a good stepping-stone to a political career; sadly once elected they forget their grass-roots constituents that got them into office and become one of the Yes men. Australian farmer otganisations need to look around the world and find a model that works then adapt what suits our situation. Too often the smaller farmer has no say but is expected to fund the organisation just the same. They either end up voting with their feet or the bank does so for them because they get squeezed out.
24/06/2014 1:01:36 PM

Dear readers, A gentle reminder from the editors as some serial offenders have been stretching the friendship – multiple screen names are frowned upon, and pseudonyms that appear to mimic real people or organisations will not be published. If you have concerns you’ve been misrepresented or your comments have been deleted in error, email us at editorial.farmonline@fairfaxmedia – and here’s the link to our comments policy ( as a reminder. We do encourage your involvement, but remember the rules of play. Thanks all - K McRobert FarmOnline Editor
Peter Comensoli
24/06/2014 5:16:58 PM

Congratulations to NFF. It's high time they stopped tinkering with their structure and consulted, responded and reformed. No more Commodity Councils; no more State waste; amalgamated assets; amalgamated resources; amalgamated effort. Look out Tony (and Mike Baird), the farmers are FINALLY going to get it together.....are they?! A few more sacred cows yet to be slaughtered I suspect.
25/06/2014 7:36:41 AM

It might be time to exit agriculture if mandatory levies were struck to fund farmer lobby groups. What a shocking insult it would be to a producer if he or she was funding a position they did not agree with. If governments respected private property rights it might just be that lobbying is not needed but that is probably just a too simple solution for farmers especially and governments of all persuations who have no respect for much at all....
Philip Downie
25/06/2014 9:30:44 AM

Jacky that is because they want to be politicians. In fact mostly one side of politics and they push the agenda of their next meal ticket at the expense of what farmers want/need. Even if they say they are not interested in politics somehow in the end they are talked into running for the good of the country. Pull the other one.


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