Home' NZ Dairy Farmer : February 2013 Contents 18 The Dairyman FEBRUARY 2013
EMOTIVE words have no place in the debate around DCD or
GM, says Dr William Rolleston, Federated Farmers vice-
president, who was asked to respond to questions around both
topics, put to him by Glenn Mead, chairman of the Organic Dairy
and Pastoral Group.
Dr Rolleston said Mr Mead did not seem to understand that this
was not a question of "organics is all right and modern agriculture
(including GM) is all wrong" or vice-versa.
"Rather, farmers should be taking the best from all farming sys-
tems, backed up by science to improve agriculture in general and
at the end of the day they will use the techniques they consider the
best for their situation," Dr Rolleston said.
"Federated Farmers advocates for farmer choice for production
systems which are approved.
"Glenn also appears to be unaware that some certified organic
farmers are unable to meet the Horizon's OnePlan. He also does
not understand (or chooses not to understand) the DCD situation -
words like 'unacceptable' and 'dubious farming practices' don't
lend credibility to his argument and are a long way from the facts.
"The DCD situation is not one of food safety but rather a matter
of getting the international paperwork right. DCD has been con-
sidered safe - it has been used for more than 30 years in the food
and pharmaceutical industries and as a fertiliser in Canada, USA,
Japan and Europe," he said.
"The level found in New Zealand milk by Fonterra was 100
times below the acceptable European limit but because there is no
internationally agreed limit through Codex, the acceptable limit is
the limit of detection which is very low with modern tests.
"Once an international limit is agreed it is likely we will be able
to start using DCD again," he said.
"A gene can't be poisonous and the DCD detected in milk isn't
"The authors of the paper Glenn refers to, Dr Nancy Podevin
and Professor Patrick du Jardin, don't agree with his conclusion.
The authors say 'No risks to human health were identified when
this gene was present in GM plants." The same gene is contained
in many, even organic plants'," Dr Rolleston said.
"No GM crops will be released in New Zealand without
approval by the EPA at which any credible scientific evidence will
be taken into account."
DCD debate has no
place for emotive
By SANDRA FINNIE
FOR ALL YOUR
PHONE DIANNE HALSTEAD
07-838-6203 - 021 271-4214
With No8HR -- your rural people specialists
LEARNING FROM EXPERIENCE - RECRUITMENT
Having spent a number of years recruiting staff in the farming
sector, we are continually learning from experience. As we are
now coming up to the main dairy recruitment season we thought
we'd share with you some of the useful lessons we've learned over
Product (your job, your farm and you). Before marketing your
position make sure you know your 'product' well including the pros
and cons. Because dairy farming is a business and a lifestyle as well
as a job you need to know how all of these aspects for your job
compare with others available on the market. Your networks and
rural professionals can be a useful source of information to make
sure you know what's important and unique about your position so
you can attract the applicants you want.
You also need to ensure that the total remuneration package you
intend to offer is consistent with the market. If you are looking for a
contact milker, VOSM or 50/50 Sharemilker make sure the
contractual arrangements you are intending to offer make the
position viable and in keeping with the market. If not, you will limit
your choices and potentially end up with a contract milker who
goes into liquation.
Marketing. Some employers copy other adverts without thinking
about their own product (job, farm etc.) and particular
requirements. Once you know the positive elements of your
product, you can now include them in your marketing of the
position. This is not a case of making promises that you will not be
able to deliver upon but making sure that you don't sell yourself
short by not mentioning the positives.
You are not likely to be the only employer looking for staff so put
yourself in the shoes of applicants to better gauge if your role is
attractive. Many employers offer similar benefits, be it training and
development, responsibility, housing. Any point of difference that
sets your job / farm apart from others needs to be mentioned.
We would recommend using a variety of marketing channels to
create interest in your position. Methods such as using your
networks, fencepost, local noticeboards and school newsletters as
well as paper-based publications (including farming magazines
and local and regional papers) can be low cost and effective. It
is worth noting that although Fencepost is an extremely effective
marketing channel it is only those who are actively seeking work
that use it. You may miss potential applicants who are not actively
in the market or who use the sites search filters. We often have
people who say they will only work in one area but once we start
talking to them about a specific opportunity that meets their needs
that's in a different location they change their mind.
Clarify. It is easy to lose sight of the actual requirements of the
applicants. Some job seekers, hedge their bets. In other words,
your role may be of moderate interest to them. They remain
interested in other roles but have expressed interest in your job in
case their preferred job does not eventuate. Some applicants may
even accept a role of moderate interest for the upcoming season,
then accept a more suitable role elsewhere before the season
One of the key lessons we have learned is to spend even more time
than you think you need to in clarifying the needs and wants of the
applicants. Asking the applicant's referees can provide very useful
Gaining a clear view of an applicant's level of interest in your role
and staying in contact with them on a regular basis can help
prevent mismatches occurring. Clark Collins, Consultant No8HR
Please contact us at email@example.com or on 07 870 4901 if you have
any questions about this or any other people related matter. If you
have suggestions or questions you would like us to cover in our
column please let us know.
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