It seems clear that the many dairy industry issues Queensland and indeed Australia have faced in the past decade are now on the backburner as we deal with the immediate risk and impact of COVID-19.
There should be no need to repeat the message of hygiene and social distancing that we now all understand so well, but rather breakdown the risks and what we can do as individuals and as QDO, your representative body.
Four key points we need to consider:
- The health of yourself and your family.
- Health and availability of staff.
- Availability of inputs to run our business.
- The continuation of the supply chain.
Across Australia industry bodies are working hard to ensure that industries relating to food security are to be declared essential services. This will help prioritise any critical issues that arise through the supply chain as a result of COVID-19.
There has been a National Response Group set up with representatives from ADIC, ADF, ADFP and DA. This group will be the principal consultants with federal government advisers and politicians and will ensure that QDO and all other state bodies receive essential updates that we will pass on to farmers as required.
We do not want to overload you or your staff with non-essential information so we will keep communications lean. If you have any particular issues relevant to COVID-19 please contact us so we can help you to deal with the issue.
Please listen and follow official government advice as to how to minimise the risk to your business and our industry. This is not always Facebook advice unless it is from a government source. There are protocols put in place for people to keep you and your workforce safe and ensure that your farm can continue operating. These are available via the Dairy Australia website (search COVID-19).
On a more positive note it's clear our main product, bottled milk, is in massive demand and is seen as an important staple rather than an optional extra.
Finally have some faith in yourself and your ability to deal with this difficult situation. We are after all the masters of problem solving.