6 May 2010

Dairy industry to tackle negative public image

12:58 pm on 6 May 2010

The dairy industry is to mount an advertising campaign to try to improve its image.

Accusations of dirty farming practices in recent years have prompted industry body Dairy NZ to commission research on the public perception of dairying.

Chief executive Tim Mackle says the image campaign is not about simply glossing over some of the negative things associated with dairying.

He says there's a lot of investment and effort going into improve farming practices, and the campaign will help the industry reconnect with the public.

Senior researcher Glen Wright says some messages are coming through even in the early stages.

People responded positively when asked if they should still be proud that dairy farming is a large part of the economy, he says, but there is also a perception that there has been a change to focussing on business and efficiency.

Mr Wright says people also wanted more honesty from the dairy industry on its environmental issues and wanted to know why the price of cheese is so high.

The advertising campaign is expected to begin over the winter.