Fresh start for NSW industry

NSW Farmers says its new dairy manager role will deliver specialised policy advice and advocacy, coinciding with the release of the state government’s NSW Dairy Industry Action Plan.

The plan, developed by NSW dairy advocate Ian Zandstra with input from NSW Farmers, aims to create a fairer system while also investing in the future of the sector.

NSW Farmers dairy chair Colin Thompson said the association was a key part of reshaping the leadership of the dairy industry at state and federal levels, and the dairy manager role would ensure farmers continued to be involved in the implementation of those plans.

“The dairy industry has had a number of challenges and setbacks over recent decades, from drought to absurdly low milk retail prices,” Mr Thompson said.

“The dairy industry needs coordinated advocacy as it faces old and new challenges, from processor and retailer relationships to competition from plant-based alternatives, high energy prices and environmental changes.

“It’s time for meaningful action and NSW Farmers looks forward to the chapter ahead.”

Mr Thompson welcomed the emphasis on research, development, extension and adoption programs aimed at unlocking higher productivity and profitability, de-risking the dairy industry, and developing new markets.

“NSW Farmers has been a key player in the development of this action plan, primarily through our advocacy and our role on a state industry advisory panel,” he said.

“We pushed for the installation of a NSW dairy advocate, and we were successful in seeing that come to fruition in 2019, and now NSW Farmers will be one of the handful of stakeholders on the Dairy Action Implementation Panel, established to oversee the implementation of the action plan.”