Farmer hopes for better times

By Rodney Woods on May 14, 2017
  • Farmer hopes for better times

    A Rochester dairy farmer is feeling for the current workers at Murray Goulburn’s Rochester plant as he suffered the same fate about five years ago.

A Rochester dairy farmer is feeling for the current workers at Murray Goulburn’s Rochester plant as he suffered the same fate about five years ago.

Adam Campbell, who has just taken over the family farm, is a Murray Goulburn supplier — but before taking over the farm he was an employee of the co-operative.

‘‘I feel for the people who work there. Four or five years ago I was working in the transport division (at Rochester) and I was made redundant,’’ he said.

‘‘I empathise with the workers.’’

Mr Campbell said as a farmer, he hoped the move to close the Rochester factory would put the co-operative back on track.

‘‘From a farmer’s perspective, if this is a way of getting the company back on track I suppose that’s got to happen,’’ he said.

‘‘I just hope the masterminds behind it know what they are doing this time.’’

Mr Campbell said while the closure of the Rochester factory would affect workers at the plant, he believed suppliers would not be affected too much.

‘‘My understanding is that the transport department will stay at Rochester and the milk will be processed at the Cobram plant,’’ he said.

Despite the harm Murray Goulburn has caused since it and Fonterra cut milk prices just on 12 months ago, Mr Campbell said he would continue to supply Murray Goulburn for now.

‘‘It (the closure) does sort of change my perspective,’’ he said.

‘‘(However) they’re an Australian-owned company and it’s better to go with who you know. Fonterra are like the bogeyman.

‘‘I have friends and family who work at Murray Goulburn (too).

‘‘At this stage I will be staying with Murray Goulburn but if they can’t turn it around and be competitive that will make our decision easier.

‘‘It looks like they are trying to be competitive so I will be giving them time to prove themselves.’’

Mr Campbell said the impact of the closure on farmers would come down to one thing.

‘‘We (farmers) need milk prices to improve dramatically.’’

By Rodney Woods on May 14, 2017

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