THE dairy industry is looking to set its priorities for the next five years – and beyond – with the development of a collective Australian Dairy Plan.
At the official launch at the 2018 Industry Leaders’ Breakfast, held as part of the Dairy Australia annual general meeting in Melbourne, a consultation program to seek the views of farmers and dairy communities across Australia was outlined to work together for the sector’s future.
Newly re-elected ADF president and Australian Dairy Industry Council chair Terry Richardson said the industry faces multiple challenges and opportunities and would need 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,” he said.
“A plan that sets the agenda on a national scale, is needed to provide direction and focus.
“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 was joined by Dairy Australia chair Jeff Odgers, Gardiner Dairy Foundation chair Bruce Kefford, Australian Dairy Products Federation president Grant Crothers in making the announcement.
Mr Odgers said DA fully supported 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,” he said.
“We encourage everyone to participate in consultation that will be held across Australia, starting in autumn next year.”
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 about 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 ADPF supports this initiative and encourages opportunities for farmers and processors to speak with one voice,” he said.
- Details: Further information on the Australian Dairy Plan and consultation process will be made available next month.