Dairy farmers make a key contribution during COVID crisis

16 June 2020

Recently released economic data shows dairy farmers continue to make a positive contribution to the economy throughout the COVID crisis, says DairyNZ chief executive Dr Tim Mackle.

“Dairy farmers have an important role to play and will be a key component in New Zealand’s post-COVID economic recovery,” says Dr Mackle.

MPI’s Economic Update for the Primary Industries released earlier today shows dairy exports up 12 percent since the start of March, compared to the same time last year. 

“In dollar terms this equates to a $512 million increase in much-needed export receipts at a critical time for our country.

“This is good news and dairy farmers and workers throughout the dairy value chain can be proud of the valuable contribution they have made as essential workers throughout lockdown,” said Dr Mackle.

This year, New Zealand’s dairy sector is forecast to produce an export revenue higher than last year ($19.2b to 30 June 2020). Similar levels are forecast for next year.

“The dollars dairy brings into our country will be critical as New Zealand rebuilds its economy and communities after the impact of the global pandemic,” said Dr Mackle.

“A key contribution of the dairy sector to the economy is also the availability of jobs. There are fantastic opportunities for Kiwis to get work on dairy farms right now, including people who have lost jobs due to COVID-19.”

DairyNZ has launched a Go Dairy campaign to attract people to work in dairy, and to provide training and support so they have the right skills to have a great experience once they get work on a farm.

“Dairy is a tried and true sector that has delivered for us in the past and it will continue to deliver in the future – providing safe and highly nutritious food, and also economic prosperity and resilience to our regions.”​

Media inquiries:

Vanessa Fever

Senior Media Manager

Phone 027 836 6295


Ali Tocker

Media Advisor

Phone 027 211 2159


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