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The week's news and insights from the National Farmers' Federation
 
Visit us online:  NFF Media Centre  |  FarmHub  |  AustralianFarmers
 
Welcome to the NFF’s Weekly Wrap, bringing you the week’s farming and political news each Friday.
Headlines
PIEFA survey highlights the need for education reform
This week, PIEFA released its 2020 Food, Fibre and our Future Student Survey that highlighted some alarming results about Australia’s education system, namely that one third of students still struggle to identify where their food and fibre comes from.
The study follows on from the now infamous ‘yoghurt doesn't grow on trees’ report from 2011 that found similar results.
Consumers likely to feel impact of labour shortage
The Australian farm sector’s labour shortage problem continues with farmers now warning consumers that the shortage in workers could result in higher grocery prices. Industry continues to work on solutions to the labour shortage and is encouraging Australians to explore jobs in agriculture via FarmHub.
Quad bike manufacturers reach new low
This week, quad bike manufacturer Yamaha went for the livelihood of businesses in regional Australia when it threatened to cancel dealers’ franchises if they sell CF MOTO quad bikes fitted with OPDs. The shocking threat was met with backlash from industry who said Yamaha had reached a new low in its fight against life saving OPDs.
ABARES forecasts above average winter crop
The latest Australian crop report from ABARES highlights an expected above average winter crop production season in Australia, forecasting an increase by 64% in 2020–21 to 47.9 million tonnes, 20% above the 10-year average to 2019–20 of 40 million tonnes. The report is predicting the third largest wheat harvest in Australia's history.
 
 
Weekly insight
COVID-19 lockdown impact on Victorian lamb processing
All eyes are on lamb processing in Victoria as the state's COVID-19 lockdowns extend into Spring. Victoria processes more than half the nation's lamb, but doubts exist over how processors will handle supply with ongoing workforce constraints...
Source: MLA, 2020
 
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Briefing
Stats don't lie when it comes to live saving OPDs

This week, leading quad bike manufacturer Yamaha made headlines when it was revealed that they had threatened to cancel dealers’ franchises if they proceeded to sell CF MOTO quad bikes fitted with operator protection devices (OPDs).

The news comes following reports that popular US quad bike manufacturer, Polaris, has been putting pressure on dealers to not take on any new quad bike brands and instead focus on selling more side by sides.

Industry has slammed the actions taken by these manufacturers as it continues to defend the introduction of live-saving OPDs against misleading campaigns from user groups who view the standard as an unnecessary form of regulation.

The Government’s new safety standard requires all new quad bikes to display a warning label, alerting riders about the risk of rollover by October this year and for all new quad bikes to be fitted with an OPD at the point of the sale by September 2021.

The standard is being introduced due to the alarmingly high number of quad bike injuries and fatalities recorded in Australia each year.

In its ten-year comparison (2010 - 2020), Farmsafe Australia found that quad bikes have been the main cause of injury over the past ten years and the main cause of fatality in all but four years.

In 2020 alone, there have been 14 quad bike fatalities, a number that has almost doubled from last year.

And while leading manufacturers continue to make threats in response to the introduction of the new safety standard, industry remains committed to ensuring the safety of farmers on farm.

A recent study commissioned by the United States (US) Government found that OPD’s have the potential to save lives as they dramatically cut quad bike rollover impacts.

The US Government’s Consumer Product Safety Commission’s largest forensic engineering firm S-E-A Limited conducted the testing which involved running six quad bikes (with and without OPD’s) through 52 on-ground rollover tests.

The results were clear: fatalities are less likely to occur when quad bikes are fitted with OPDs.

Manufacturers have the right to make a decision regarding the profitability of their company, and have already made their call after announcing they would stop selling quad bikes in Australia in 2021.

But the decision to abandon the livelihoods of Australian farmers, and rural communities, rather than simply new models of quad bikes with OPDs is shameful.

If lives can be saved at such a small cost, then the choice should be clear.


Quote of the week
"To not be able to get it off the plant at the last step, well it's heartbreaking."

- JAMIE MICHAEL, WA STRAWBERRY GROWER ON WORKER SHORTAGES.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sent by the National Farmers' Federation, NFF House, 14-16 Brisbane Avenue, Barton ACT 2600
 
 

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