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Posted by karere under Maori News
The Maori Party has come in behind Maori dairy farmers, milk suppliers and shareholders, whether they supply to Fonterra or not.
Setting of Milk Price
“We want the fairest deal possible for everyone, given the competing interests.
“A key issue for us is to make food more affordable for our wh?nau. Last week, in our inquiry around the determinants of wellbeing for tamariki Maori, Te Hotu Manawa Maori told the hearing that every Maori child has the right to a healthy food supply.
In this Bill Fonterra is able to set its own milk price. We note the Commerce Commission has approved Fonterra’s method of setting the milk price for farmers- and that after the company made what they described as “significant” price adjustments, a two litre bottle of milk is now 50c cheaper. Lower milk returns cut the prices for customers -that matters at the kitchen table as much as it does the farm gate”.
“The Dairy Industry Restructuring Amendment Bill requires that the milk price must be set by a milk price panel, with oversight by the Commerce Commission. We support the move for the majority of members to be independent, which we believe will ensure that Fonterra can’t manipulate the milk price in its own interests”.
“We want to strengthen this independence, and that is why, we have been working with Miraka Limited - the first majority owned Maori dairy processing company - to develop an SOP which will further strengthen the role of the Commerce Commission and ensure a fair and accurate milk price”.
Another key issue for the Maori Party has been around freshwater quality and the impact of the dairy industry. We are pleased that in our discussions Fonterra has assured us of their support for “environmentally responsible and concerned farmers”.
They have given us the commitment that waterways on their farms must be fenced and that this will be a condition farmers must meet in order to supply milk to Fonterra. There will also be increased efforts in helping farmers comply with systems that assist farmers disposal of effluent.
Maori have a significant economic stake
“This bill has been a major issue of concern for Maori who have a stake in the dairy industry. As well as the shareholders of Miraka, there are some 2000 Maori working as employees of Fonterra and up to 500 Fonterra shareholders who are Maori - so the stakes were high as we thought about how best to manage all of their interests as milk suppliers and shareholders”.[here]