June 19, 2008

Dairy Farmers Should Pay Market Prices Too

Frank Brenmuhl, head of Federated Farmers dairy division, has rubbished the Greens' call for Fonterra to uncouple local dairy prices from international prices. Fair enough. But in return for the rest of us paying market prices for dairy we expect dairy farmers to pay market prices for their ecological and societal footprint.

In particular, the more than half a billion dollars for greenhouse gas emissions; the tens of millions of dollars for maintaining little-used roads in sparsely populated areas; the mind- boggling cost of cleaning up our rivers and waterways; and the cost of attracting and retaining vets and GPs to country areas.

In the medium to long term, ordinary farmers will get far more from the Greens than they will ever get from corporate dairy and Queen Street farmers, so some consideration for the general population would not go amiss. MICHAEL ANDREASEN

Central Christchurch

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