So what has ADF and ADIC actually achieved?
Some examples of ADF’s successful advocacy and influence in policy debates include:
Water – Through ADF, ADIC has helped shape the water debate on several fronts. On the Murray Darling Basin (MDB), ADF has been the key voice for dairy farmers to governments, the MDB Authority and the community. Even though the Basin plan is now in the hands of the politicians, ADF, ADIC and our State member bodies continue to meet and express our concerns with the MDBA, Government and Opposition, Greens, Independents and other political groups. The dairy industry recognises that achieving good national water reform is an ongoing process and there is still a long way to go.
Carbon pricing – Under ADIC, ADF was instrumental in deflecting the Rudd Government from implementing the proposed Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme on the basis that, indirectly, the average cost per farm would have been around $9000. ADF and ADIC will continue to call on the Government to remove electricity from the carbon tax and to build fairness into the scheme. It is absolutely vital that a fair deal for dairy farmers is achieved. As well as the removal of electricity from the scheme, we want to ensure the final rules provide access for dairy farms to planned support measures and to help shape the direction of on-farm RD&E. ADIC and ADF will continue to work with all government parties on these issues that will impact on the dairy industry from farmer through to processor.
Animal health – The ADF has a strategic priority of securing market access for the dairy industry by promoting sound animal health and welfare practices and by supporting systems to protect the industry from domestic and international biosecurity threats. Significant time and resources have been devoted to the development of a science-based animal welfare standard for a maximum time off feed for calves being transported. ADF has also been closely involved with the development of National Standards and Guidelines for Animal Welfare in Cattle. Draft Standards and Guidelines will be released for public consultation later in 2012.
Home brand milk price – ADF has taken the industry lead in challenging the Coles $1 per litre milk price campaign. ADF’s efforts to date have kept the spotlight on the issue and generated much support from a broad range of stakeholders. ADF and its member State Dairy Farmer Organisations will continue to call on the Government to support the dairy industry’s recommendation for an enforceable and mandatory Code of Conduct for supermarkets that covers the entire value chain, from farmer to retailer.