Dairy Australia Provides Major Support To Industry

AUSTRALIA - More than $51 million was invested into Australia’s dairy industry by Dairy Australia throughout 2010/11.
calendar icon 29 November 2011
clock icon 4 minute read

In a year of contrasting fortunes across the nation’s dairy regions, the national research and service body spent $33.8 million on RD&E projects and $17.2 million on industry services. The Dairy Services Levy provided $33.1 million of income, with $18.8 million of matching Australian Federal Government funds.

Figures not too dissimilar to when Dairy Australia was formed in 2003, where the expenditure was $52 million, Dairy Australia Chairman Max Roberts highlighted at the Annual General Meeting.

"Then, industry contributed 60 per cent to Dairy Australia’s operating funds – now it is 55 per cent of funds," Mr Roberts said.

"While the dollar figures may be the same, the programmes we invest in have come a long way. Our projects are more targeted, resulting in research and extension which has helped drive profitability and delivered value back to farmers and their businesses – whether it be through feed conversion efficiency, natural resource management, ensuring dairy has a voice in the health and nutrition debate, protecting industry reputation or keeping the door open to key international markets."

Dairy Australia Managing Director Ian Halliday said under the organisation’s new Strategic Plan for 2012-16, 45 per cent of funds would continue to go towards improving farm margins and growth opportunities, while 25 per cent would be poured into proactively promoting and protecting dairy’s value and integrity and close to 20 per cent would be dedicated to growing skills and capability.

"Looking ahead to the next five years, and with the difficulties of recent events in mind, our plan aims to accommodate the regional diversity of our industry and acknowledges the need to accelerate adoption of research to sustain profitable farm and manufacturing businesses into the future," Mr Halliday said.

Addressing the AGM, Mr Halliday acknowledged the extreme climatic challenges of floods, cyclone and drought a number of dairying regions around the nation faced throughout the past 12 months.

"Dairy Australia provided strong support to levy payers and the broader industry to cope with these challenges during the past year through practical solutions, direct action programs and on-the ground support," he said.

"However, many parts of south east Australia experienced the most favourable conditions in a decade coupled with strong export demand and competition. Thus the medium term outlook for dairy is very positive for these dairy regions based on population and income growth and changes in diet of emerging economies in Asia and the Middle East and continued consumption growth per capita in Asia.

And future predictions also indicate that national dairy consumption will increase at approximately two per cent per annum."

Throughout 2010/11, Dairy Australia also supported the Australian Dairy Industry Council (ADIC) in analysing and understanding the potential impacts of domestic policy and market initiatives such as the proposed carbon pricing mechanism, the Murray Darling Basin Plan, supermarket milk price cuts, changes to animal welfare standards, the National Food Plan, food labelling and the Australian Dietary Guidelines.

Mr Halliday noted a number of highlights for 2010/11, including: Implementing the Dairy Moving Forward pre-farm gate investment in research, development and extension, which covers animals, feed base management, natural resource management, people and farm management;

Developing a Dairy and Sports performance project in partnership with the Australian Institute of Sport which aims to increase awareness of milk’s unique role in exercise and sport performance;

Launching the new automatic milking rotary with key investors at Camden in NSW, which has led to the first commercial AMR being installed in Tasmania; and

Establishing the dairy industry People Development Council, which will further help address the challenge of attracting, retaining and developing people.

"To remain competitive the industry must continue to work on improving margins, leverage growth opportunities and proactively promote and protect dairy," Mr Halliday said.

"This all needs to be underpinned by ensuring the industry’s skills and capability base."

Three of the nine board directors were re-elected at this year’s AGM – Dr Wendy Craik, Peter Nankervis and Geoff Akers.

Farmers receive a benefit of $3 for every $1 invested by Dairy Australia on their behalf. For more information on this and other levy investments visit www.dairyaustralia.com.au

Dairy Australia is the national services body for the Australian dairy industry. The company acts as the collective investment arm of the industry, investing in essential research, development, extension and industry services.

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