News that Fonterra will axe 523 jobs shows that the human effects of the tumbling global dairy price are being felt throughout New Zealand, the Green Party said today.
“These job cuts are a tragedy for the 523 staff and their families, who will now be joining rural workers and indebted farmers in financial insecurity,” Green Party primary industries spokesperson Eugenie Sage said.
“Ultimately, these workers are bearing the cost of the National Government putting all its bottles in the Fonterra basket.
“The Government’s single-minded support for the dairy industry above all else has created huge risks for farming families and those employed in the wider primary industries.
“The Government should be supporting rural economies to become more resilient and grow value not volume, through innovation and R&D, so that global dairy price downturns are less likely to lead to mass job losses.
“The Green Party would make $1 billion available over three years in tax breaks and direct grants to kick start innovation across the economy, including in the primary sectors. This would put more money into the rural economy and spur the transition to smarter farming in a low commodity price environment. Ultimately, that would create sustainable jobs,” said Ms Sage.