THE excellent article by Tom Marland (Farm Weekly, letters, February 10), where he questioned the cost of agriculture advocacy, raised a lot of issues and hopefully will initiate positive action for the future wellbeing of all aspects of Australian food and fibre production.
To balance his article, Mr Marland gave some prudent facts of the industry, employment, pertinent aspects of broad economics and the naturally hostile agricultural environment of drought, fires, floods and pests.
Plus there are further difficulties for agriculture, trade embargoes, government restrictive trade policies (such as China's current stance on Australian barley and wine imports) and international competition which also influence farm profitability.
In simple terms, farming in Australia is difficult enough, without unnecessary interference and meddling by organisations and people who have no understanding of industry, farm practice, trade, or the national economy.
And in two of these instances, by prominent organisations hell-bent on destroying agriculture.
There are four main intrusive and subversive sources which interfere with agriculture as an industry:
There are no positive industry protection laws, or empowered government bodies, to protect most aspects of supply chains for agricultural industry, from production to market or consumption.
In the past, certainly in the sheep and cattle industries, there has been fierce opposition to unwarranted interference from the anti groups.
This support from the two main industry bodies in Western Australia, the Pastoralists and Graziers' Association of WA and WAFarmers.
However there is no assistance in the form of comment, policy, legislation or action by government departments or the police.
To comment on just two facts of industry interference.
This was a panic solution, by a panicked minister and a reprehensible out of touch government and based solely on dubious information from one market destination.
Subsequently, this action and the minister have been sued via a class action by affected producers, who won their case.
Of significance is that the individual affected producer lost a lot of income over the years.
The minister found to be irresponsible and guilty of unjustified action paid no personal monetary cost in this instance.
He was proven wrong but not punished.
This policy needs to change.
How this was allowed to happen is mind boggling, but is apparently based on the completely false premise of customer preference.
A good example of when 75 per cent of Merino sheep producers continue with a responsible management practice to ensure the best lifetime welfare and health of their sheep flock; directly in the face of an arrogant stance by ego-tripping industry bureaucrats.
What will be required in the future to protect rural industries is in reality fairly simple, but may prove difficult to implement.
It will require legislation to:
Then prime minister Tony Abbott markedly reduced the government funding to Animals Australia in 2013.
So it can happen.
In reality a GST on food.
It should not be funded by producers who pay enough taxes - some of which support the deluded protestors in their various forms.
Producers also have another avenue to protest against the variety of agricultural antis, change producing some food items, change from wool to sheep meat, change from sheep to goats or beef or intensive forms of meat production, or to cropping enterprises.
In effect, starve the radicals.
Three factors of real significance in the fight against the coercive anti farming campaigns are that farmers can diversify if forced to, the world population is increasing and the market for quality food is increasing as many countries become more affluent.
All good for the future of food production where hopefully demand will be an important ally against the anti people and weirdo radicals.
Australians go to the polls soon, Federally and in the States.
Work on the various candidates, make agricultural terrorism a voting topic, get commitments, then choose your candidates.
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