Nathan Guy must stand up for farmers during tough times

The Primary Industries Minister needs to stand up for farmers during tough times rather than rolling over for banks, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says.

“Nathan Guy today warned the Government wouldn’t be bailing out farmers who can’t pay their bills following the collapse in the dairy price.

“The Minister needs to show some leadership to the dairy industry, not just speak nicely about banks. The banks can explain their own actions.

“The absence of a strategic plan or direction for the sector – encouraged by taxpayer handouts through Primary Growth Partnerships – has led many farmers down a pathway to high debt and high costs.

“The collapse of the milk price has left 80 per cent of farmers in a cash deficit while their returns continue to fall.

“New Zealand is no longer the lowest cost producer of milk or milk products. Our farmers need leadership that offers them a viable and sustainable business model so they remain in the industry.

“Facts and honest analysis of the international marketplace – not hype and hope from Nathan Guy and John Key – is desperately needed by a dairy farming sector reeling from widespread and large losses,” Damien O’Connor say.