As the executive chairman of Waikato Milking Systems, I have had the opportunity to interact with farmers from around the globe, and a common thread weaves through their concerns.
One of the primary issues facing farmers is the scarcity of available labour.
The younger generation shows a reluctance to live in rural areas and take on diverse tasks on the farm. Instead, there is a growing trend towards specialisation, leading to a shortage of skilled workers.
Moreover, the cost of labour has risen significantly, surpassing pre- Covid levels. This surge in labour costs, coupled with supply constraints, has driven inflation, with the unemployment rate predicted by the ANZ to rise rapidly in the next 12 months, much like during the Global Financial Crisis.