Wednesday, 03 June 2020 09:55

Report highlights good pay packets

Written by  Sudesh Kissun
It is hoped a report showing good pay for dairy sector workers will help attract more New Zealanders to farming jobs. It is hoped a report showing good pay for dairy sector workers will help attract more New Zealanders to farming jobs.

A report confirming a sharp rise in pay for dairy sector workers will help attract more New Zealanders to farming jobs, says Federated Farmers dairy chair Chris Lewis.

He says the 2020 Federated Farmers Rabobank Farm Remuneration Report has come at a perfect time.

“At a time when we are trying to attract more Kiwis into dairy farming, the report confirms the dairy sector has quite competitive pay and benefits for potential workers,” he told Rural News.

The report, released last week, shows that between 2017-18 and 2019-20, the mean total remuneration package (salary plus benefits such as accommodation, meat, firewood, Kiwisaver, etc) has increased significantly for farm employees across all sectors groups. 

Based on survey responses relating to nearly 3,000 on-farm positions, the report shows the mean farm employee remuneration package for dairy farm workers rose by 9.7% to $57,125. Across sheep/beef farm roles it was up by 7.6% to $55,568, across grain farms it was up by 3.1% to $58,800 and in ‘other’ specialist farm roles outside standard position descriptions, it was up by 16% to $61,288. 

Federated Farmers president Katie Milne says during the COVID-19 pandemic, agriculture has been an essential service and one of the nation’s economic pillars. 

“Not only does a career in our sector offer very good job security and the satisfaction of working outdoors to produce quality food for families, here and around the globe, it also offers competitive pay packages,” Milne says. 

“Those who have the right attitude and show leadership potential can find a satisfying career pathway in front of them.” 

In the last two years, the mean total remuneration package for a dairy assistant manager has jumped $10,643 (20.6%) to $62,317, while the mean package for a dairy operations manager is now up by $1,658 (1.96%) to $85,986. 

The mean total remuneration for a head shepherd is now $60,091 (up by 8.37%) and for a senior tractor/machinery driver on a grains farm, $65,269 (up by 4.67%).

The report provides a range of information relevant to farmers who employ or who are looking to employ workers.

Milne says the report aims to provide a ‘one stop shop’ for farmers employing staff.

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