In an ABC Radio interview yesterday, Coles quality manager Jackie Healing called for video cameras on Australian farms. I asked the Twitterverse to add to my list of questions for the retail superpower and sent the following email to Ms Healing and Coles PR contact, Jon Church:
As a dairy farmer and blogger, I was fascinated to see that you are advocating a Tesco-style approach, including video cameras on farm. Would you care to answer some questions for www.milkmaidmarian.com? The blog is now quite popular with both farmers and consumers who would, I am sure, be equally as interested in exploring the topic further.
- What do you consider are the benefits of video cameras on farm?
- Do you see any potential problems?
- Do you have any concerns that practices in the best interests of animals (restraint for vaccinations or veterinary procedures, for example) could be misconstrued by viewers?
- Do you anticipate Australian farmers will volunteer to host the cameras?
- Have you discussed the possibility of cameras with farmer organisations? If so, what has been the response?
- If Australian farmers do not volunteer to host the cameras, how will Coles respond?
- Does Coles plan to offer education for consumers about animal husbandry practices?
- Where would cameras be mounted on a typical 500-acre dairy farm?
- How would the dairy supply chain need to be “remodelled”?
- Will Coles install cameras in the food preparation areas of supermarkets?
I shall post the questions online tomorrow and would be delighted to add your answers, provided they are no more than 100 words each and reach me by COB tomorrow. If this doesn’t suit, please let me know and I will do my best to provide a balanced response.
It will be interesting to see whether Coles is happy to elaborate, don’t you think?