There is a lot of speculation both in the community and from a former member in the other place about my family’s decision to stop supplying milk to Murray Goulburn. I want to set the record straight. For many years I have spoken about the need for farmers to work collaboratively and to have some influence over the supply chain. Those are beliefs I still hold, but unfortunately that has not happened, as I would have liked to see and as I have advocated for. We now have a situation where farmers are having to make tough calls like the one we were forced to make. I am but one vote around the table of our family business, and unfortunately we have had to make a very tough call to leave the company that we had supplied for many years and had built a close relationship with. Unfortunately it was not financially viable for us to remain.
There are rumours of a large payment to us from Murray Goulburn in an effort to retain our business. There is absolutely no truth to this suggestion. It is completely false, and I am quite happy to open our books to anyone to prove this point. Our farm supplied Murray Goulburn until 14 September 2017. The following day we started supplying Warrnambool Cheese & Butter. There is nothing untoward, and we worked with Murray Goulburn through the transition process. We did not benefit in any way from staying beyond the date that was quoted in the newspaper other than being paid for milk we had already supplied.
I wish Murray Goulburn all the best. They are very important to the Australian dairy industry, but unfortunately we had to make a very tough call to do what was right for our family and our business. Those who want to say otherwise, including members in the other place, might do well to speak to me personally rather than continuing to trade in rumour and innuendo.