WHILE the South Australian Dairyfarmers' Association celebrates the launch of its SADA Fresh milk brand, Family First MLC and Mount Compass dairyfarmer Rob Brokenshire has called on the state government to re-launch a strategic state dairy plan.
He said it was very important to have a vision.
"First and foremost, we need a plan so that, from paddock-to-plate, all sectors of the industry know the government is committed to dairy," Mr Brokenshire said.
"And dairyfarmers need to know how they can increase their business within it.
"There is a bit of 'sunshine' in dairying at the moment, particularly with opportunities for exports into Asia, especially China and (later) India.
"But without a dairy plan, and focus and support from the state government, the industry is basically a bit ad-hoc in the way it's going about trying to tap into and capitalise on those opportunities."
Mr Brokenshire said there would be an opportunity for the dairy industry to grow under a state dairy plan.
SA's last dairy plan started in 2002 and expired in 2010.
"There is opportunity for the reinvigoration of the Murray swamps and potential for feedlot dairying around there with its access to hay and grain," he said.
"We have the opportunity to expand the industry, rather than see it shrink, but we need a plan.
"For that reason, I'm calling on the government to get on with it. I am also asking the opposition to have a plan should they come into government next year."
State Agriculture Minister Gail Gago said the dairy industry - with a strong government relationship - had a very well-developed industry organisation to help advance its needs.
"We have a good working relationship and I meet regularly with them and they have not been pushing for a dairy plan," she said.
"Should the industry indicate they want such a plan, I would be more than happy to work with them to meet their goals."
* Full report in Stock Journal's October 31 edition.