Farmers perspective on Fonterra loss not so 'doom and gloom'

Rural Exchange 16/09/2018
Photo: File.

Farmers are concerned over proposed new employment laws being reported back to Parliament this week. 

It would scrap 90-day trials for all large businesses, see greater union access to workplaces, and force employers to accept multi-employer collective agreements.

Federated Farmers is worried about the impact these changes will have on farmers.

Asked about the affect of Fonterra's first ever loss, Federated Farmers employment spokesman Chris Lewis told RadioLIVE's Rural Exchange most farmers are more worried about the cash return in hand.

"The payout for last season - it's very, very good. There's no doubt about that.

"So on that side of things, farmers are happy with Fonterra and they see what they're paid as a good result," Mr Lewis said.

However, Mr Lewis says a lot farmers have "a lot of money" invested in Fonterra and will be concerned.

"They'd like to see it very profitable," he says. "That's the tension between milk price and dividend.

"Farmers want a high milk price but they'd like to see a return on their capital, especially when there's opposition companies operating now," Mr Lewis told RadioLIVE.

Watch the full interview with Chris Lewis above.

Rural Exchange with Hamish McKay, Sarah Perriam and Richard Loe, 5-7am Saturday and Sunday on RadioLIVE with Carter’s Tyre Service. Click here for all the ways to watch and listen.