Information for farmers: Anti-livestock agriculture survey

We are aware that an anti-livestock agriculture charity called Farm Transitions Australia (FTA) has contacted a research firm to conduct surveys of dairy farmers on their behalf, with at least four farmers being contacted over the past week.

Who are Farm Transitions Australia?

FTA is not affiliated with Dairy Australia in any way. They are a relatively new organisation that seeks to “assist” farmers in livestock industries to transition to non-livestock plant-based farming and is also connected to another anti-livestock agriculture group called Companion Cows, which seeks to re-home surplus male calves.

How did FTA get my details?

FTA has engaged farmer research firm KG2 to undertake the survey, a leading farmer database specialist servicing agribusiness, who we suspect has provided your details.

Dairy Australia has not provided your details to either FTA or KG2. Whilst Dairy Australia does engage third parties to conduct its farmer surveys, your details are not passed on or made available for other surveys. We keep your details and the information you provide us confidential and use it for internal purposes only.

What kinds of questions are asked in the survey? How will I know if it’s an FTA survey or a Dairy Australia survey?

According to those contacted so far, the researcher begins with asking general questions around your farm enterprise and wellbeing, before progressing to more leading questions around transitioning away from dairy farming. In some instances, the researcher has provided information on FTA when questioned; in other instances, they’ve avoided answering direct questions for more information.

Farmers who are contacted by someone wanting to conduct a survey are advised to ask on whose behalf the caller is conducting the survey at the start of the call. Third party providers conducting surveys on behalf of Dairy Australia will always identify themselves at the beginning of a call.

What should I do if I’m called for an FTA survey?

If you are contacted by someone wishing to conduct a survey and they don’t identify themselves or the organisation for which they’re conducting the survey, you may wish to request that they remove you from their database and end the call. Note – this will not remove you from the Dairy Australia survey database.

How do I make a complaint if I think they’ve tried to mislead me or call again after I’ve asked to be removed from their database?

Researchers are exempt from the Do Not Call Register, however, they must still comply with strict standards that govern research calls, as defined by the Federal Government’s Telecommunications (Telemarketing and Research Calls) Industry Standard 2017. These standards include providing a name and the name of the organisation from which they are calling, only calling during permitted hours, and ensuring their number is visible to the call recipient (i.e., not from a private number).

If you receive a call that you believe has breached these standards, you can make a complaint to the Australian Communications and Media Authority.

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