Dairy Exporting and Employment: A Possible Role for Once a Day (OAD) Milking
The dairy industry is New Zealand's top export earner and recently went through a growth period under the influence of rapidly rising world prices for milk products. They peaked in 2008. Employment conditions in this major sector of the economy have been problematic since the early twentieth century as the prevailing industry mentality is one of cost saving, particularly of labour. Once-a-Day (OAD) milking appeared to provide the key system change, which held the possibility of dairy farming becoming socially sustainable rather that lurching from one employment crisis to the next. However, while the changes brought about by conversion to OAD milking are very positive, they have not affected dairy farm employment in some of the ways which were anticipated. The paper reports findings of an in-depth qualitative study of social aspects of OAD milking and their implications, set in the context of data from the 2006 Census of Population.
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