Dutch farmers visit Tasmania as part of Rabobank tour

Agritourists of a different type visited Tasmania’s North-West this week when Rabobank hosted 23 Dutch farmers and Rabobank staff on a whirlwind tour of Australian farming regions.

Covering four states, 11 farm visits and nine flights in 15 days, the group has seen a variety of farming operations along Australia’s Eastern Seaboard, including Tasmania.

The group spent Monday and Tuesday in the state’s North and North-West visiting VDL Farms’ Woolnorth dairies and BRA Farms.

Cattle farmer and agricultural adviser Riene Huijbers and Rabobank Netherlands Food & Agri manager Ton de Juncker were part of the tour and enjoyed seeing the differences between farming in different hemispheres.

“We are looking for stories about how [Australian farmers] are working and what problems they have. In Holland there are lots of rules,” Ms Huijbers said.

“[Australian farms] are really based on low prices and keeping the business as simple as possible,” Mr de Juncker said.

“They are also very aware of risk and water is an important item in Tasmania. We don't have that problem in Holland,” he said.

Property and operational costs were very different between the two countries, Mr de Juncker said.

“The cost is much higher in the Netherlands – as much as four times the price as here. The cattle are always in barns, but here they’re out in the open so building costs are lower,” he said.

Besides the farming differences, the group noticed Tasmania’s beautiful weather on Tuesday.

“It’s 1 or 2 degrees in The Netherlands now,” Ms Huijbers said.