Dairy

Dairy farmers assured there will be no need to dump milk

By Rodney Woods

The Australian dairy industry has reinforced its intention to maintain milk flow during COVID-19 concerns, putting practices in place to ensure this happens.

The Australian Dairy Industry Council is aware of footage of dairy farmers in the European Union, United Kingdom and United States having to dump milk due to oversupply caused by the shutdown of restaurants and other bulk buyers to stop the spread of COVID-19.

ADIC chair and Australian Dairy Farmers president Terry Richardson assured farmers there was little risk of milk needing to be dumped in Australia.

“These are turbulent times and we feel for our colleagues in the Northern Hemisphere because spring marks the start of their peak milk production period and food service outlets have shut down, but it’s a different situation in Australia,” Mr Richardson said.

“The dairy processing sector has a strong track record of ensuring the reliable collection of raw milk over many years and through various crises.

“During COVID-19 the industry continues to work collaboratively to ensure continuous, safe and efficient milk collection from the farm gate, right through the supply chain, with no interruptions.”

The dairy industry has formed a National Response Group to ensure a united response to the COVID-19 pandemic, while maintaining supply chains and product quality, and protecting the health and safety of farmers and workers.

Comprised of representatives from ADF, the Australian Dairy Products Federation and Dairy Australia, the group has worked to ensure dairy and all supply components are classified as an essential service, and have implemented measures to keep supply chains operating.

ADIC deputy chair and Australian Dairy Products Federation president Grant Crothers said processors and haulage companies continued to work together to ensure milk pick-ups would occur safely under any circumstances.

“Dairy farmers’ milk will continue to be collected, and we see no reason whatsoever for milk to be dumped,” Mr Crothers said.

“Should any dairy processor not be able to pick up milk, they’d simply need to pick up the phone and call another processor or the ADPF, it’s as simple as that.

“As long as farmers continue to produce safe, fresh and nutritious milk, Australia's processors will ensure supply across retail, and replenish all products.

“The message for Australia is clear. The dairy industry is essential and open for business.”