Plan to define future of industry

By Country News

The dairy industry will come together to define the future of Australian dairy through the development of a collective Australian Dairy Plan.

The official launch at the 2018 Industry Leaders Breakfast held recently outlined a consultation program to seek the views of farmers and dairy communities across Australia to define priorities for the next five years and beyond.

Australian Dairy Farmers president and Australian Dairy Industry Council chair Terry Richardson said the industry faced multiple challenges and opportunities and needed 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,’’ Mr Richardson 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.’’

Mr Richardson was joined by Dairy Australia chair Jeff Odgers, Gardiner Dairy Foundation chair Dr Bruce Kefford and Australian Dairy Products Federation president Grant Crothers in making the announcement.

Mr Odgers said Dairy Australia 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,’’ Mr Odgers said.

‘‘We encourage everyone to participate in consultation that will be held across Australia, starting in autumn next year.’’

Dr Kefford said it was time for broad participation in setting the future direction and delivering a single-industry plan to guide the industry.

His views were echoed by Mr Crothers who said one of the core strengths of the dairy industry was the ability for the whole supply chain to work together.

Further information on the Australian Dairy Plan and consultation process will be made available later this month.