The farmer activist group Farmer Power will on Wednesday launch a crowd funding campaign to ramp up its efforts to highlight the plight of the dairy industry.
The group has also gained the support of the APCO service station chain that will display posters and sell bumper stickers from its service stations with the message “Show Dairy Farmers You Care.”
Farmer Power executive officer Garry Kerr, of Torquay, said it was also seeking businesses to become “Bush Champions” and sponsor Farmer Power to become a more effective advocacy group for dairy farmers.
Mr Kerr said the funds would help the group continue its efforts against supermarket sales of milk for a dollar a litre.
He said Farmer Power also wanted to raise awareness by the public and government about the “crisis” in the dairy industry and what could be done to remedy it, Mr Kerr said.
He said overseas dairy products were dumped in Australia and Farmer Power wanted to encourage people to buy Australian made to help the local dairy industry.
Farmer Power president Chris Gleeson, of Crossley, said poor profitability was forcing scores of farmers to leave the industry.
Mr Gleeson said that while improving milk prices might help many dairy farmers make a profit this milk season, most where still burdened by the losses they suffered last milk season when prices crashed.
He said Farmer Power would soon launch an industry development plan that would provide a long-term vision to reverse the decline in milk production and attract more younger people to the industry.
“There’s been a rapid exit from the industry,” Mr Gleeson said.
He also said Australia needed to ensure it could produce its own food and not rely heavily on imports.