Gardiner Foundation Strategic Plan 2024-2028


Gardiner Foundation was established to support the Victorian dairy industry and communities by the Victorian Government in partnership with Victorian dairy farmers, processors, and manufacturing groups (under Section 65 of the Dairy Act 2000).

Over the last 23 years, through prudent funds management, the $62 million of initial capital has grown to a corpus valued at $158 million and contributed over $90 million to projects that benefit the industry.

In recent years, the Victorian dairy industry has faced significant challenges. Seasonal conditions, milk prices and business input costs became increasingly volatile, making the management of dairy businesses more complex. Favourable land, cattle and milk prices have provided favourable settings for an increasing number of dairy farmers to leave the industry. A decline in statewide milk production, the challenge of attracting and retaining a skilled workforce along with changing demographics in regional and rural Victoria are all impacting the fabric of dairying communities.

Broader social adjustments that affect the way the industry and surrounding communities may meet current challenges are also occurring. An increasing focus on the need to maintain a social licence to operate from the broader community; the competition between industries to find and keep skilled labour; limited resources available across all farming and manufacturing industries; and an increasing regulatory environment, all need to be navigated.

Regardless of these challenges and changes in operating context, Victorian dairy communities are places of opportunity for families and industry, and for investment that creates prosperity for all.

With this 5-year strategy, 2024 – 2028 (1 January 2024 – 31 December 2028), Gardiner Foundation empowers our great dairy people, inspires change that benefits industry, strengthens communities, accelerates innovation and growth, and sustains investment in dairy’s prosperity, for decades to come.


Managing the investment of funds to maximise the benefits to all sectors of the Victorian dairy industry and to Victorian dairy communities.


Thriving, vibrant Victorian dairy communities where people want to live, work and invest.


Courage, Curiosity, Integrity, Leadership

Our Way

Independent, Prudent, Agile, Flexible, Ambitious.

Principles for Action

Engage, Collaborate, Communicate, Evaluate, Celebrate

Strategic Priorities

Financial Stewardship

Our investment performance enables us to achieve our purpose in perpetuity.

People in Dairy

We empower the people and businesses in dairy to make informed and impactful decisions about their businesses, our industry and the communities in which they live, work and invest.

Community Development

Our investments strengthen the wellbeing of Victorian dairy communities.

Research & Innovation

Our diverse portfolio of research and innovation investments delivers outputs that improve the productivity and sustainability of the Victorian dairy industry and the vibrancy of Victorian dairy communities.

Industry Support
We support the whole industry to work together to ignite transformative change.

To read the Gardiner Foundation Strategic Plan in full, select the following link to download the PDF: Strategic Plan 2024-2028