Tassie farmers sign contracts with National Foods

Posted by Isobel Drake on 8th January 2010

After reaching a compromise agreement just prior to Christmas, most Tasmanian farmers have now signed their new contracts with processor National Foods, closing the book on a tense chapter between the supply chain partners.
Tasmanian farmers were disappointed with the price offered by National Foods when negotiations over the milk price began a few months ago, arguing that it was lower than what their interstate counterparts received and below the costs of production. And, as fruitless negotiations rolled on and deadlines passed, an amicable deal appeared a long way off until a meeting in Melbourne saw the two sides find common ground.

Details of the new deal were discussed amongst farmers yesterday, with almost all expected to sign by January 15.

Chairman of the Tasmanian Suppliers Collective Bargaining Group, Kem Perkins, told the ABC that the relationship between farmers and National Foods had improved considerably over recent weeks.

“The company now is showing a lot of goodwill towards the group and trying to you might say mend the fences and it’s a turn around in attitude,” he said.

“The collective bargaining group really appreciates that. We think that they really mean what they’re saying and we’re looking to go forward.”