generation Hunter Valley dairy farmers walk away from cheap milk and rising costs

Canada Goose Parka After more than 100 years on the land, the Gee family is walking off its Hunter Valley dairy farm at Jerrys Plains, blaming low milk prices and rising costs. Canada Goose Parka

Canada Goose online Three generations are employed in the family business, including grandparents Colin and Rita, their canada goose outlet website legit sons Paul and Shane, and their four granddaughters. Canada Goose online

canada goose coats on sale Farming costs risingWhen the Australian dairy market was deregulated in 2000, the Gees declined a compensation package and continued doing what they loved. canada goose coats on sale

They did as they were advised by canada goose vest outlet the dairy industry: they bought more land, more stock and invested in a large mechanised rotary milking system.

Since then costs on the farm have continued to rise, but the price of milk has barely changed in 10 years.

“You try to canada goose outlet usa build your business to live just comfortably, nothing out of the ordinary, and the price of milk comes back and all the inputs go up and I just can’t see a future in it,” Paul Gee said.

“We have invested in this, and years ago we were getting somewhere. Now, we’re just not getting anywhere and I’ve canada goose outlet authentic had enough, because I know where I’ll be if I try to keep going.”

canada goose Mental health under strainDepression and mental health issues are taking their toll on the family. canada goose

It canada goose outlet uk fake was last July when Paul Gee said he canada goose outlet entered a “very dark time”, something he thought “would never happen” to him.

Canada Goose Outlet He was herding his cows for milking when the stress and worry became too much. canada goose outlet shop The weight on his shoulders seized his entire body. Canada Goose Outlet

“The cows came to me, walked past me and went canada goose outlet paypal through a fence and I just stood there, I couldn’t move,” he said.

canada goose factory sale “I rang my daughters and they raced down and helped me. I said I’m going to be late to take my son to football again. They said don’t worry, we’ll sort this Dad. canada goose factory sale

canada goose black friday sale “After that I said to my brother we can’t keep doing this, we’re just getting nowhere, this is garbage, so I went and saw Mum and Dad and canada goose outlet montreal told them we made a decision.” canada goose black friday sale

The Gee family is not aloneDuring better days in the Hunter Valley, there were more than 1,000 dairy farmers across the region supplying a number of local milk processors.

uk canada goose Eight canada goose outlet los angeles years ago there were only 150 farmers left. Hunter Dairy Development Group chairman Scott Wheatley said that had shrunk to around 50, and more were following. uk canada goose

canada goose store “Every farmer in the Hunter at the moment would be in the same situation, they’re probably all looking around assessing whether they can maintain viability as a dairy farmer,” he said. canada goose store

canada goose uk black friday “We’re all scratching every month just to pay the bills.” canada goose uk black friday

buy canada goose jacket cheap The Hunter region is in the grip of severe drought, forcing farmers to spend big money on electricity for irrigation and buying in stock feed. buy canada goose jacket cheap

But few have any financial buffer to help them through the tough times.

canada goose coats “There’s nothing there, we’re living on overdrafts, most buy canada goose uk farmers would be living with overdrafts and canada goose outlet germany you get to a tipping point,” Mr Wheatley said. canada goose coats

“As soon as you get pressures from the climate, energy, grain prices going up, those sort of things, they make a hell of a lot of difference to the bottom line and you canada goose outlet 80 off can only lose money for so long.

“If it continues we’ll probably become unviable, unless we get a substantial pay rise in our price for milk.”

Canada Goose Jackets Branded milk not helpingIn canada goose outlet uk sale mid 2016, social media campaigns against cheap supermarket milk saw a spike in the sale of branded products, but the Gees and Mr Wheatley said the benefits were canada goose outlet london uk never passed on and things have only worsened. Canada Goose Jackets

cheap Canada Goose Mr Wheatley said his farm gate price for milk canada goose factory outlet vancouver had fallen from 55 cents a litre, to 50 cents a litre, despite the fact he sells to the Dairy Farmers brand, which is owned by Japanese company Lion Dairy and Drinks. cheap Canada Goose

“They’ll just pay the minimum amount they need just canada goose outlet near me to keep people hanging in there with a glimmer of hope, that’s all they’re doing,” he said.

“There’ll be a few farms shut on the way through, and they know that, it’s pretty much survival of the canada goose outlet michigan fittest.”

Lion Dairy said the spike canada goose outlet ottawa in sales of branded milk products only lasted a couple of months and did not continue.