NSW Farmers Oyster Committee Chair Kevin McAsh was presenting preliminary results of a survey at the Oyster Catchup and Trade Fair where growers and industry representatives are gathered to discuss the industry’s future.
Mr McAsh said those intending to invest in their business planned to do so by increasing stock levels and improving farm infrastructure.
He told the 225 people gathered there were clear regional differences in the amount and type of investment planning between the northern, central and southern growing regions.
“Understandably confidence is much lower in central estuaries which reflect the impact on Pacific oyster growers and the advent of Pacific Oyster Mortality Syndrome,” Mr McAsh said.
The survey also asked growers to outline the largest restrictions to the growth of the industry.
“Growers so far have nominated concerns about disease management and mitigation; profit margins; access to finance; availability of stock and access to hardy and reliable strains as the top restrictions,” he said.
Mr McAsh said the survey results would be used to assist the NSW Farmers Oyster Committee to set strategic policy priorities for the year ahead.
“We have looked into three aspects of our industry including confidence, investment and priorities,” he said.
The NSW Farmers Oyster Committee represents members to government and the wider industry on policy issues and will be using the results of this survey to further that work.
He said that he was not surprised to learn from the survey results that about half of all oyster growers currently relied on off farm income and that most predicted they would continue to do
so in five years time.
Mr McAsh said that if growers had not already done so, they should fill in NSW Farmers online survey www.surveymonkey.com/s/oystersurvey or contact the Member Service Centre on 1300 794,000 and one would be mailed to them with a reply paid envelope.