New action plan to attract the workforce dairy farmers need

New action plan to attract the workforce dairy farmers need

Joint statement from DairyNZ and Federated Farmers Thursday 8 October, 2015 

Attracting the skilled dairy workforce that farmers need to run their businesses is the goal of a new joint workplace action plan launched with the Minister for Primary Industries in Canterbury today by Federated Farmers and DairyNZ.

DairyNZ chairman John Luxton says one of the aims of the industry’s 10-year strategy is to see 90 percent of dairy farm businesses having quality work environments by 2020.

“We have put actions and commitments in this new plan to ensure we achieve that part of the strategy. We are competing with all the other career opportunities on offer across the globe. We’re not always the most attractive choice for many young people these days and we need to be if we want to develop and retain the workforce we need,” he says.

The new Sustainable Dairying: Workplace Action Plan sets out five areas of good people management including balanced and productive work time, fair remuneration and wellness, wellbeing and health and safety. One of the key expectations is that the industry will improve its record in health and safety and businesses will meet all legal and employment requirements. A dairy employee guide has been produced and measures are in place to track the industry’s progress against the plan.

Federated Farmers dairy section chair Andrew Hoggard says the quality of the work environment that a farmer provides is central to attracting and retaining staff.

“Most dairy farm businesses have positive workplaces because farmers see the benefits for everyone if they can get and keep good staff. That is the reason why DairyNZ and Federated Farmers have worked together on this plan.

“We recognise that level of best practice is not uniform across all businesses and that parts of our industry need to lift their performance to make dairy farming more attractive to a greater number of employees,” he says.

“A good work environment does not stop with just doing the minimum,” says Andrew Hoggard. “We’re encouraging farmers to go from good to great as employers and supporting them with tips, tools and resources to make it easier. All farmers want to attract good staff – and so we’ve set out a clear road map for how to make that happen for them.”

For a copy of the Sustainable Dairying: Workplace Action Plan including the guides for dairy farms and dairy employees go to