Wednesday, 07 July 2021 10:55

Evolve to meet red tape challenges

Written by  Sudesh Kissun
SIDE 2021 organising committee chair Andrew Slater. SIDE 2021 organising committee chair Andrew Slater.

The dairy sector can no longer ignore the growing trend of compliance and regulations and must evolve to meet the challenges.

That was the message from South Island Dairy Event chairman Andrew Slater at the two-day conference in Ashburton last week.

Slater says the conference theme, Evolve, was born from the current situation facing the dairy sector.

"We felt we had hit the nail on the head pretty well and the last two years has cemented that even further," he says.

"The agricultural industry is constantly facing multi-faceted challenge and change.

"We have regulators throwing curve balls at us, those entrusted to police these new regulations unsure of what they are policing or how to police them, and ever increasing compliance coming left, right and centre from regulators, suppliers and customers along with a bad case of the squeaky wheel getting heard far too much.

"The Covid pandemic, while we are extremely fortunate down in our part of the world, has thrown huge challenges our way, getting product to its intended markets, market dynamic changing, the availability and cost of inputs, transport logistics challenges and a massive effect on the labour market.

"On top of this, mother nature has joined the party, not wanting to miss out, and replenished soil moisture levels in a rather unfriendly way."

Slater says farmers have survived these challenges to date relying on resilience, foresight and doing what they do best, getting on with it.

"With the continued environmental challenges, changes in the finance sector, and increasing demands from the end users of our products to name a few, our farming systems need to evolve to not only survive but to prosper and grow sustainably and continue to be the backbone of the economy."

Last year's SIDE was cancelled due to Covid.

Slater says when the event committee first sat down nearly two years ago and started making plans for the 2020 conference, they had no idea what lay ahead.

The decision to postpone was incredibly disappointing, however, with the entire event committee agreed to stay on to put this year's event together.

About 400 farmers attended the event.

In his speech, DairyNZ chairman Jim van der Poel touched on the recent devastating Ashburton floods.

He noted that some farmers are still struggling with the aftermath, "which continues long after flood waters have passed and media have left town".

"I'm not sure anyone was expecting three months of rain in three days: that's a lot of water for anyone to deal with," he says.

The floods left a big mess for farmers. Van der Poel says dairy farmers are getting on with cleaning homes and repairing fences.

"It's not easy but rural communities are pretty good and help each other in difficult times. I'm sure this community is doing exactly this."

More like this

Rubber to hit the road on farm gas plans

A joint initiative where farmers measure, reduce and pay for greenhouse gas emissions rather than being included in an emissions trading scheme swings into action later this year.

SIDE heading to Ashburton

For the first time in its 23-year history, the two-day South Island Dairy Event (SIDE) is heading to Ashburton.

Paralympian to inspire farmers

Former Paralympic blade runner Liam Malone expects to inspire dairy farmers attending the South Island Dairy Event (SIDE) in late June.


Machinery & Products

Effluent injection goes XL

Dutch effluent specialist Vredo is testing 15 and 18-metre wide slurry injection rigs for the upcoming 2022 spreading season.

Choosing the right pump

Choosing the right pump for an effluent system is the key to ensuring a system works well and gives many…

Spreading muck with ease

Palmerston North headquartered Strautmann Hopkins Ltd imports the extensive range of Strautmann Muck Spreaders for farmers and contractors, built by…

» The RNG Weather Report

» Latest Print Issues Online

Milking It

Liquid or powder?

Fonterra, the biggest exporter of milk powder to Sri Lanka, may have a new battle on its hands.

Failed legal action

UK vegan and animal rights groups have failed in a bid to ban an advertising campaign promoting meat and dairy…

» Connect with Dairy News

» eNewsletter

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter