Fish & Game says Fonterra has now realised it must act quickly to meet public demand for better water quality instead of relying on spending millions on slick PR campaigns promoting the dairy industry.
He says while wet weather continues to wreak havoc on farms throughout the country, on the milk price front things are looking much better.
Spaans made the comments while opening the DairyNZ Farmers Forum in Taranaki today; about 120 Taranaki farmers are attending the day-long event.
Fonterra’s farmgate milk price for 2016-17 season stands at $6/kgMS, compared to $3.90/kgMS last season. The co-op will announce its forecast payout for the new season, starting June 1, on Wednesday.
Spaans, who stepped down from the Fonterra board earlier this year after a health scare, believes a $6 payout is “fairly solid” for this season.
But he says conditions on farm remain tough- wet weather has been quite a challenge.
“Spring was extremely wet- not only in Taranaki but right across North Island and South island,” he says.
“Autumn has been wetter, particularly in my neck of the woods – in east Waikato where I farm- we have had probably half our annual rainfall in the last two months.”
Flooding in Edgecumbe also affected dairy farmers earlier this year.