Feds' site has much to offer

BRUCE WILLS
Last updated 07:14 11/06/2014
Bruce Wills
SUPPLIED
Federated Farmers of New Zealand president Bruce Wills.

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Every year Mystery Creek plays host to one of the largest agricultural field days in the Southern Hemisphere. We expect to see more than 125,000 people attend.

As Federated Farmers' president, I can confirm that I will be joining the throng of fellow farmers at Mystery Creek.

Indeed, I'd like to extend an open invitation for all to join me and the team at the Federated Farmers' site at the premier feature in the main pavilion.

Our site is PF18 so note it down as we've got a lot to offer and I will be there along with board and Waikato provincial colleagues.

If there is one must attend site, aside from food tent, it ought to be us as Federated Farmers as we work to assure the viability of your farm business.

We will have our excellent policy team manning the site on a rolling roster with our field officers and elected members.

This is part of what makes us so unique and responsive.

You see Federated Farmers has to work very hard to retain and expand our membership and policy is set by farmers for farming with our excellent array of policy experts to deliver exactly that.

Like one of those TV commercials . . . wait there's more. Whether it's online, by old fashioned post or the telephone, Federated Farmers wants you to call in.

Our site is inside the main pavilion will have partners and offers for members. There will be samples of our contracts and agreements including our occupational health and safety policy.

That policy is more pertinent now than ever, with the Government reducing ACC levies from around 21 and 29 per cent for 2014/15. This reflects an improving safety record on-farm and should go lower as this trend continues. There are hundreds of issues we are involved with, but the key thing is that Federated Farmers has the back of farmers, everywhere.

While at Fieldays I also look forward to canvassing farmer views on issues such as our meat options paper.

Red meat and fibre has massive growth potential as our second largest merchandise export worth some $6 billion.

We are hopeful major reforms will happen this year, and it must. The test for reform is whether it will be controlled by farmers or imposed by the banks or even potentially by a foreign entrant. There is boundless potential for meat protein because every second, more than two people enter the world than leave it.

Talking progress the Trans Pacific Partnership is edging ever nearer. If the TPP can be concluded it will be worth at least US$2.9 billion (NZ$3.4b) to the New Zealand economy by 2025.

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That is more than the exports of electrical equipment and crude oil combined. I believe it to be a conservative estimate, given our exports to China in April 2014 are up 54 per cent on the same point last year. The TPP, water policy and fiscal policy will, I believe, dominate the 2014 election. Federated Farmers will be running the ruler over promises to ensure they work for farming.

So please seek out Federated Farmers at Fieldays. I'm really looking forward to this year's event and I cannot wait to get among the estimated 900 exhibitors and our fantastic farming community.

* Bruce Wills is the president of Federated Farmers and will be a "live chat" guest here at NZFarmer.co.nz tomorrow morning.

- Waikato Times

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