An advertisement in a supermarket has become a major cause of controversy for many farmers.
It was shown to customers in the UK in March, asking them to donate to the ‘Agriculture Bank’.
The advert is being criticised as promoting the commercialisation of the agriculture industry and has sparked an outpouring of anger online.
The campaign, titled ‘Save Our Farms’ was run by the Agricultural Bank of Australia (ABA) and featured a large advertisement that read, ‘We’ve saved our farm, now it’s time to save our country.’
‘We’re all farmers and we know that our farming is part of our national identity and we need to help make our farms more resilient and productive, while also keeping our food affordable,’ said ABA chairman and CEO Peter Crouch in a statement.
‘This campaign reinforces the need to continue to provide vital support for farmers and the community through support to agricultural loans, grants and loans through our agriculture loan scheme.’
‘It’s a classic case of people who don’t understand what they’re talking about using this ad to push their agenda, rather than listening to those who actually have their farm,’ Mr Crouch said.
‘It has no basis in science or fact, and we hope it will never be used again.’
The campaign was seen as ‘inherently racist’, and was branded ‘misleading’ by an organisation called the ‘Farmers Alliance’ which has called for the campaign to be removed.
It’s a pity that the farmers association isn’t aware of the fact that they’re actually promoting a system that is in direct conflict with the welfare of our agricultural workers, said the organisation’s founder, Kate Bower.
‘We think it’s just a cheap attempt to make the farmers and their families feel better, it’s a really sad commentary on their own work and their own families.’
The Farmers Alliance, which is made up of farmers from across the country, is urging the ABA to remove this ad immediately.
‘The ABA should be focusing on improving the agricultural sector and supporting our farmers, not encouraging these anti-worker and anti-environmental tactics,’ she said.
The Farmers Association said the ad was a response to the ABB’s focus on ‘financial and commercialised agribusiness’.
‘The Farmsters Alliance is not calling for the ABBA to be abolished, but rather that it is replaced with a new organisation, focused on farming,’ the organisation said in a press release.
‘However, the Farmers Coalition believes that this is the right way forward and that the current organisation, ABB, should be given a second chance.
‘While the Farmsters Coalition will continue to call for a full and transparent review of the ABBB, we have found the ABBC’s advertising to be fundamentally flawed and damaging to the farming community.’
The Farmsters Association also highlighted the fact the ‘Save our Farms’ campaign is funded by the Australian Government, a company which has also been implicated in the agricultural bank scandal.
‘As a Government-funded organisation, the ABAB is a government agency, which provides the resources and funding for farmers to access and use financial support, as well as other programs such as the farm loan scheme,’ the statement continued.
‘Its role is to provide support for agriculture to be sustainable and productive.’
‘The farm loan system was a failed system that failed the majority of Australian farmers, and it is disappointing that the ABAA is funding this misleading and misleading campaign.
‘Farmlands are under siege by the financialisation of farming and by the threat of the big banks.
‘A good agricultural loan system could be a lifeline for millions of Australian workers and farmers, providing them with the skills and knowledge they need to compete with the global marketplace.’
‘Farmland is under siege.
The big banks want to buy up our land and destroy our livelihoods.
‘Our members have been fighting the bank for more than a decade.
‘For more than 20 years we have been asking the ABRA to do something to save Australian farmland, and this latest campaign is just another step towards our goal.
‘If we don’t act now, our farms will be sold to the highest bidder and we will lose the support of farmers across the nation.’
‘To see this ad being run by a bank that promotes the financialization of agriculture, we believe that it shows that the farming industry is not a good place to be.’
A statement from ABB said the agency is ‘committed to supporting the farming sector’.
‘This is the first time we have ever run a farm loan campaign, and the campaign’s message was designed to engage with people on their farm, so we know the messages we’re trying to convey are not intended to be offensive,’ the company said.