By BRIAN TESSMANN, QDO President
With Christmas now almost upon us we all should remember that while many of us go to great lengths to travel, relax, eat, drink and be merry, some of us still need to work. Often on and around Christmas radio announcers and television personalities remind us of those who are at work to keep everyone else happy, healthy and supplied with the normal services and fresh food supplied we have come to expect over the Christmas break.
While this sentiment has been carried for decades now, I am old enough to have noted a definite change in who is in the general public’s thoughts since the seventies and eighties. It is great to remember those who work in medical or emergency services and even those in less critical services it must be remembered that for almost all of them are rewarded Australian penalty rates to ensure they are well rewarded for a late or a cut short Christmas celebration.
On the other hand dairy farmers are very rarely mentioned and appear to have been forgotten from the mainstream consciousness. Dairy farmers will be working over Christmas to maintain the community’s supply of fresh milk. People still expect to go down to their local store and pick up a supply of the great white stuff on Boxing Day. We saw back during the floods earlier this decade that when milk wasn’t available, there is hell to pay and consumers act as if a basic human right has been taken away.
On top of this, it must be remembered that for most of those dairy farmers working on Christmas day, there is no penalty rates or special monitory compensation at all. It is all just part of keeping the Australian consumer happy. It is time we said thanks for the milk, flavoured milk and ice coffee as well as yogurt, cheese, butter custard, ice-cream and all the other great dairy products we enjoy not just at Christmas, but all year round.
So as you pour your custard over your Christmas pudding and ice cream this Christmas have a thought about the dairy farmers who supply it and do such a great job for you and the whole nation. Don’t let your Christmas dairy cheer stop there, make sure you go down to your local corner store or independent market and buy some branded milk and dairy products so you can not only enjoy the taste, but let your conscience will rest easy in knowing you did right thing by the farmers.
It is Queensland dairy farmers wish that you get some of that branded milk and dairy product in your shopping trolley for your whole family to enjoy and have a Merry Dairy Christmas.