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Fonterra profit announcement little relief for farmers

Fonterra’s profit announcement today offers little relief for struggling farmers who will still be forced to borrow billions more from the banks to keep afloat, Labour’s Economic Development spokesperson David Clark says.

“A quarter of our farmers could still go out of business and there are 100,000 small businesses suffering the effects of the diary downturn.

“Recent reports that banks are taking over the running of farms which are on the verge of default shows the depth of this crisis.

“National failed to see this downturn coming and has no plan to help our farming communities.

“New Zealand needs leadership from the Government at this time. A summit with farmers, Fonterra, banks and industry stakeholders should be held to look at ways to keep farming families on the land and boost investment to diversify the economy.

“Labour would kickstart the economy by bringing forward major infrastructure projects. We would also diversify the economy away from its over-reliance on the speculative bubbles in dairy and the Auckland housing market,” David Clark says.