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Fiji Cooperative Dairy Company Addresses Concerns From Farmers

Impasse over milk pricing Challenges of replacing stock About 200 dairy farmers from the Navua, Tailevu and Naitasiri area attended the fourth Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Fiji Cooperative
25 Dec 2018 10:00
Fiji Cooperative Dairy Company Addresses Concerns From Farmers
Fiji Cooperative Dairy Company Limited acting chief executive officer Kushmendra Prasad and chairman Simon Cole during annual general meeting deliberations.
  • Impasse over milk pricing
  • Challenges of replacing stock

About 200 dairy farmers from the Navua, Tailevu and Naitasiri area attended the fourth Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Fiji Cooperative Dairy Company Limited’s (FCDCL).

The meeting at Nausori welcomed its new dairy farming at Nausori Member of Parliament Vijen Prakash as well as Aseri Radrodro, both from Serea, a strong dairy area. It sought their assistance in representing the industry with Government.

 

Dairy industry challenges

Fiji Cooperative chairman Simon Cole said that with the challenges the dairy industry is facing this AGM was of serious importance.

Mr Cole said that “major concerns were highlighted by the dairy farmers included

  • the impasse over the milk pricing agreement,
  •  the ongoing challenges of replacement of lost stock as a result of Bovine TB,
  • and clarity on FCDCL’s expenditure, operational costs and the company’s structure.

The company announced an 11 per cent reduction in its service charge to farmers, the result of savings achieved that was well received by the farmer.

The company returns all surplus cash to farmers as well as continuing cost- saving exercises in order to return more money to our farmers.

“The boards policy remains to assist small farmers by subsidising services rather than trying to maximise returns from the services the company provides” said Mr Cole.

He said that in addition to continuing its dialogue with the dairy farmers across the country, it was also planning a March special general meeting to address issues that were still outstanding.

The company made a profit in 2017.

 

Clarification

With clarifications requested by the farmers, the accounts were unanimously accepted.

Mr Cole noted that “the Government is working closely with FCDCL to implement an agreed package that will address problems faced by dairy farmers in addition. we are aware that the Ministry of Agriculture is prepared to invest in programes towards this end.”

The meeting agreed to officially join the Fiji Crop and Livestock Council (FCLC) as a council member.

This brings to 14 the commodity associations council members that make up FCLC.

“FCLC is the voice of the commercial agriculture industry and FCDCL membership will provide an added opportunity to express our concerns into Government,” said Mr Cole.

At the end of the meeting Mr Cole reminded the farmers “that as an industry it is important that we speak as one voice to all our partners, as we strive towards one common goal, for the benefit of all dairy farmers.”

 

Feedback:  maraia.vula@fijisun.com.fj

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