Motion to withhold milk due to low prices fails

By Country News

A suggestion from northern Victorian dairy farmers that they should consider withholding their milk from processors due to poor farm gate prices, failed when put to the vote at the recent UDV annual conference.

UDV members from the Katunga-based No 3 Branch were disappointed but not that surprised when the motion failed to get up.

New UDV member Andrew Schult was critical of the conference for what he called shallow thinking and for not coming up with any solutions to the current dairy crisis.

The motion called for the UDV to establish an acceptable milk solids price and then seek legal advice on collectively organising a withdrawal of milk.

Some conference members believed the motion was calling for a ‘‘milk strike’’ and was too strong, but UDV member Bridget Goulding from Katunga said the motion called for legal advice first.

‘‘I’m disappointed it did not at least get to the stage of getting legal advice.’’

She acknowledged it was a strong resolution and said it had caused a huge amount of discussion at branch level.

‘‘But something has to change because whatever is happening at the moment is not working.

‘‘We’re really in trouble, here in the north.’’

Andrew Schult spoke in favour of the motion and acknowledged it was confronting but said the battle had to start somewhere.

‘‘I’ve been an advocate for these type of actions for years because I have been in the pork and beef industries as well.’’

He said he was expecting more action from industry leaders, but could see no solutions offered at the conference.

Bernhard Lubitz from Leongatha, Gippsland, supported the motion and said it represented a cry for help.