Charities buying hay to donate to struggling farmers are driving up feed costs, according to the man tasked with overseeing fair pricing for fodder and transport during the drought.
Drought Transport Subsidy Integrity Commissioner Derek Schoen said charities are gazumping farmers on hay prices, with some farmers losing fodder they secured on contract because a charity had offered the supplier a higher price.
“People forget a charity becomes just another competitor in the fodder market so people already struggling to source fodder have to compete against charities.
“We’ve had reports from people who have had fodder already contracted but when they’ve gone to pick it up they’ve been told it had been purchased by a higher bidder.”
Mr Schoen said the glamour of media backing for some charity drives had clouded the issue of how best to help farming communities.
Read more in the printed edition of the Western Herald.