Image vital: producer

By Country News

Major dairy producer Michael Perich has told a dairy conference the industry needs to carefully manage its public profile and to work on increasing dairy’s value to consumers.

Michael Perich, a director of Leppington Pastoral, which operates multiple farms with thousands of cows, was speaking to the Dairy Research Foundation’s annual conference in Bega.

Mr Perich was responding to a question from the floor about responding to requests from retailers about ethical conduct on farms.

Mr Perich said decisions by retailers, such as Coles, were sometimes not based around ethics, but on marketing and public perceptions.

‘‘It can be difficult to counter decisions made by marketing departments,’’ he said.

‘‘We need to be careful about how we present our image.

‘‘Because retailers can make decisions which may be very difficult for us to work with.’’

Mr Perich said retailers were often driven by perceived demands from shareholders and consumers.

‘‘I am still getting over what retailers did with $1/litre milk — it has had a serious knock-on effect on our businesses.’’

Leppington Pastoral has a large farm at Undera, milking about 2500 cows.