Dairy Needs Your Help  

The China-Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA) is under threat. 

It doesn’t just affect dairy farmers; it will impact all of regional Victoria. China is a major dairy export market. 

The long-term prosperity of dairy and regional communities relies on free access to this major international market.

Dairy needs your help. This is a once‐in-a‐generation opportunity. 

The United Dairyfarmers of Victoria (UDV) and Australian Dairy Farmers (ADF) are calling on everyone across the value chain to highlight to their community what the ChAFTA means to them, and why it is essential that the deal be ratified before the end of this calendar year. 

Let your representative know what ChAFTA means to you and your region by contacting your local, state and federal parliamentarians. Contact media@australiandairyfarmers.com.au to get the details of parliamentarians for your region.  

For more facts on what the deal is for dairy and what it means for you download the Facts About ChAFTA.   

#FTA4dairy - a ripper deal

Securing a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with China, the world’s biggest dairy import market, will allow Australian dairy to flourish and compete on a global stage with our world renowned nutrition and premium quality dairy products.

A commercially meaningful China-Australia FTA will also place Australian dairy on a more level playing field against key competitors in the Chinese market, such as New Zealand (NZ) whose export volume has increased by eight-fold since securing a China-NZ FTA in 2008.

On 1 September, Australian Dairy Farmers (ADF) – the national advocacy body working to improve the profitability and sustainability of dairy farming in Australia – took to social media to raise awareness of the significance such a trade deal could have for Australian dairy’s $13 billion farm, manufacturing and export industry. We encouraged the Australian community to support a China #FTA4dairy to place Australian dairy on a level footing with NZ in the Chinese market.

Backed by the whole supply chain and dairy community, Australia’s positive #FTA4dairy selfies lit up the newsfeeds of over 1.7 million Twitter users, sparked truly national and international media interest, was dubbed “the first campaign of its kind for Australian agriculture”, and most importantly – received truly bipartisan support.

So, the big question remains...

How did we go?

The China-Australia FTA is truly a dairy deal.

The China-Australia FTA, signed by Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Chinese President Xi Jinping on Monday 17 November, 2014 will enable our industry to flourish and capitalise upon robust demand in the world’s biggest dairy market. This bilateral deal will strengthen Australian dairy’s competitiveness by providing our industry with a significant advantage compared to other countries in the market that do not have a FTA with China.

Some of the benefits of this deal include:

  • Stable and open trade with China – the world's biggest dairy import market 
  • Substantial tariff reductions on key value-added dairy products, including complete phase out of the 15 per cent tariff on infant formula by 2019 and the elimination of “safeguard” caps on 95 per cent of Australian dairy products 
  • More level playing field against key competitors in the Chinese market, such as NZ 
  • Competitive advantage compared to other countries in the market that don’t have a FTA with China 
  • Opportunity to capitalise on growth through China’s robust demand 
  • Significant flow on effects for the entire dairy supply chain, from the farm gate to processing plant 
  • Long-term mutually beneficial relationship with China 

ADF has applauded the successful conclusion of the FTA and thanked Minister for Trade and Investment, Andrew Robb, the Australian Government, industry and the broader dairy community for its ongoing support throughout the negotiations and for working hard to ensure that the China FTA is a commercially meaningful deal for dairy.

ADF hopes to see the FTA come into force quickly to allow the significant benefits to flow through the entire dairy supply chain to Australian dairy farmers as soon as possible.

How did your #FTA4dairy support contribute?

On the #FTA4dairy campaign front, your combined support helped deliver our message right to the doorstep of the Federal Government. Together our message reached over 1.7 million Twitter users alone, backed by the support of Australian politicians from both sides of Parliament. Did it work? We think these outcomes speak for themselves:

  • Reached over 1.7 million Twitter users
  • Campaign first of its kind, breaking new ground for Australian agriculture
  • Generated truly grassroots support
  • Positively supported by whole dairy supply chain and dairy community
  • Sparked truly national and international online interest
  • Strongly backed by Australian politicians from multiple parties
  • Broad online, print and broadcast media coverage
  • Over 1,390 #FTA4dairy selfies and tweets uploaded on action date
  • Garnered support from United Kingdom, United States, South-East Asia and New Zealand
  • Mentioned in Hansard by key Parliamentarians in Cabinet
  • Dairy placed as primary commodity throughout negotiations

The Australian dairy community’s strong online support was testament to our industry’s desire to secure a commercially meaningful FTA with China. ADF was greatly encouraged by the level of backing and would like to thank those who took part in the #FTA4dairy campaign, and supported ADF’s ongoing advocacy towards achieving this ripper deal.

Campaign Enquiries:

Shona McPherson
ADF Media Officer
(03) 8621 4200

More info:

Campaign Q&A