Dairy exports fall of 11%: Budget action on diversification needed

Dairy exports have fallen 11 per cent compared to this time last year, a fall of almost $1.5b, showing the Government must take clear action on diversifying the economy in tomorrow’s Budget, says Labour’s Trade and Export Growth spokesperson David Clark.

“The troubles in the dairy sector are having a big flow-on effect to the rest of the economy. The drop in forecast payout and falling global milk prices are also hurting our export margins.

“This shows we can’t be too reliant on one sector. We are dependent on one company exporting one product to one country. It’s time to diversify the economy and broaden the strengths of our exporting industries.

“This Budget needs to take action that encourages our new and emerging industries to scale up and export to new and broader markets. That’s the only way to create a wealthier nation that doesn’t have an economy at the whims of commodity traders.

“The Government needs to take the pressure off farmers who are shouldering too much of a burden. National must provide stronger incentives for other sectors to grow prosperity.

“Sadly National’s out of touch attitude to these economic fundamentals mean there’s likely to be little action taken,” says David Clark.