Click on image to start video
The Australian Farmers Fighting Fund has launched a video highlighting the ongoing impact of the June 2011 Indonesian export ban on the northern cattle industry and seeking donations to support the fund.
The AFFF is financially supporting a class action launched against the Federal Government in October last year which seeks compensation for people and businesses directly affected by the ban three and a half years ago.
The 30 second video has been released on You Tube and will also appear on commercial television during January.
Groups opposing live export and meat production in general have been proactively using social media as a “crowd funding” mechanism to generate donations to fund their campaigns for several years.
AFFF chairman Hugh Nivison said that fighting cases against the Government was expensive and it was time the agricultural sector took a lead from its opponents and made better use of social media to defend and promote its position.
“The whole of society and the way of farming is being driven much more by social media these days than when the fighting fund started,” he said.
“We need to get more involved in that space.
“The animal rights people in particular have been very effective at using social media to generate support, and at times from people who probably really don’t understand what they’re supporting, so we have got to try and fight back against that.”
The fund was established in 1985. It is maintained by investments overseen by a board of trustees, and is used specifically to fight large precedent setting cases which can deliver wide-ranging benefits for industry.
The AFFF did not disclose how much money it has to fight cases, largely because “if you tell your opponent how much you have, they then know what they have to spend to beat you.”
However Beef Central understands that the AFFF has already committed in excess of $1,000,000 to the live export class action.
The effect of the ban was devastating on many Australian cattle producers and businesses servicing the live export industry and, for many, the effects continue to be felt.
Mr Nivison said the cases fought by the AFFF involved significant costs. While these were largely recouped when the case was won, the funding was lost when the cases failed.
“Unfortunately the purpose for the fund existing is not going away,” he said.
“With property rights being taken off people by Governments in a lot of circumstances, the power of supermarkets etc, it is probably even more important now than it has ever been.
“These days the Government, with its deep pockets and fighting everything, the way we used to do things with a lot of negotiation doesn’t seem to work anymore,” he said.
“So you are fighting people in court the whole time.
“All those sort of things are fairly clear cases the fund needs to support, so if people feel inclined to dip into their pocket and give us a bit of a hand that would be fantastic.”
Click on the image above the story to view the AFFF’s 30 second video. To visit the AFFF’s donation page click here