The dairy industry will come together to define the future of Australian dairy through the development of a collective Australian Dairy Plan, it was announced by industry leaders in Melbourne today.
The official launch at the 2018 Industry Leaders’ Breakfast, outlined a consultation program to seek the views of farmers and dairy communities across Australia to define priorities for the next five years and beyond.
Terry Richardson, Australian Dairy Farmers President and Australian Dairy Industry Council Chair, said the industry faces multiple challenges and opportunities and needs to prioritise its focus.
“There is no doubt that we have been challenged with rising costs of production, retail price stagnation, tough seasons and changing global markets.
“A plan that sets the agenda on a national scale, is needed to provide direction and focus,” Mr Richardson said.
“A strong dairy industry needs both farmers and processors to be successful, as well as the businesses and communities that play an integral role.
“A confident dairy industry can navigate the current challenges and be more self-assured when looking to the future.
“It is also critical that we are more united, working together on a national scale and dealing with uncertainty with a show of strength,” Mr Richardson said.
Mr Richardson was joined by Mr Jeff Odgers, Chair of Dairy Australia, Dr Bruce Kefford, Chair of Gardiner Dairy Foundation, and Mr Grant Crothers, President of Australian Dairy Products Federation in making the announcement.
Mr Odgers said Dairy Australia fully supports the whole-of-industry initiative.
“Consultation with farmers and people connected with the industry, contributing to a national plan will be key to identifying priorities and defining the future of the Australian dairy.
We encourage everyone to participate in consultation that will be held across Australia, starting in autumn next year,” Mr Odgers said.
Dr Kefford said the Gardiner Foundation had a track record of bringing the dairy industry together and regularly organised speakers and events to challenge and stimulate discussion around the future of the industry.
“We agree it is now time for broad participation in setting the future direction, and we see enormous value in a single industry plan that provides guidance for all,” Dr Kefford said.
Mr Crothers said one of the core strengths of the dairy industry was the ability for the whole supply chain to work together.
“The Australian Dairy Products Federation supports this initiative and encourages opportunities for farmers and processors to speak with one voice,” Mr Crothers said.
Further information on the Australian Dairy Plan and consultation process, will be made available from December 2018.