Dairy industry leaders have called for nationwide input into the development of a plan for the sector's future.
They have planned consultation for the broader dairy community to have their say on what is needed to shape the future of Australian dairy, to create a more profitable, confident and united industry.
As part of the industry wide consultation, farmers, processors, service providers and those associated with dairy, are being called on to share their views through meetings in more than 20 locations across the nation during May and June 2019, as well as contribute via online platforms.
The consultation will support the development of the Australian Dairy Plan, identifying key industry priorities and delivering transformative and positive change for dairy across the next five years and beyond.
Dairy Australia, Australian Dairy Farmers, Australian Dairy Products Federation and the Gardiner Dairy Foundation are collectively creating opportunity for people in the industry to voice their thoughts on what matters most for dairy.
Australian Dairy Farmers' president and Australian Dairy Industry Council chair Terry Richardson said the consultations would bring together diverse segments of the industry to have a say on the industry's future.
"There is no doubt that the dairy industry is at a crossroads with increased market volatility, the drought, and still recovering from the pressure placed on it from the price step downs of 2016," he said.
"Now's the time for the industry to be proactive and contribute to a national roadmap, drive new thinking, structures, programs and initiatives that have direct relevance to everyone in dairy.
"The industry has a long and proud history of working together successfully through the tough times and it is critical that we renew our commitment to jointly tackle the difficulties and opportunities we face."
Dairy Australia chair Jeff Odgers said this whole-of-industry commitment was a significant part of gathering industry wisdom and creating a future we can all believe in.
"This is a defining moment for the future of Australian dairy and I believe by working closer together we can put in place a blueprint that is built on a greater understanding of the issues and will help guide everyone in the industry to a more positive future," he said.
"We are a very diverse industry which can be a strength, but it has worked against us at times in terms of being cohesive and focusing on what really matters at a national level."
The Gardiner Dairy Foundation's Bruce Kefford said the consultation was a valuable opportunity for everyone in the industry to exchange views, ideas and aspirations that will lead to us better prioritising our common challenges.
"The world is run by people who show up, and I believe it is critical everyone in the supply chain has a voice and is part of the solution to create a better outcome for the industry," he said.
"Bringing together industry to have a say is key in prioritising the critical issues and will guide change that is needed to start a new era of cohesion and action for the industry."
Australian Dairy Products Federation president Grant Crothers said sustainable competitiveness was critical to industry success.
"The Australian Dairy Plan has the opportunity to identify and establish clear expectations on what is needed to remain sustainable, relevant and profitable," he said.
"It is vital that all industry voices have their say in setting the agenda for dairy's future."
- Details: Further information on the Australian Dairy Plan can be found at dairyplan.com.au