The Need for Reform
In the last 30 years milk volumes have doubled and farm numbers reduced to almost a third of what they were. This change has seen a corresponding decline in the revenue that supports our vital state farmer organisations that have traditionally supported Australian Dairy Farmers. Yet, the need for Australian Dairy Farmers and our work is greater than ever. In addition to the ever present challenge of finding, training and retaining quality staff, dairy farmers are battling to absorb the impacts of the carbon tax, a high Australian dollar, rising labour costs and demands for diverting billions of litres of Murray Darling Basin irrigators’ water back to the environment. We must engage more effectively with those we seek to influence and more importantly, re-engage with our dairy farmer colleagues.
The restructure of Australian Dairy Farmers has been more than two years in the making. Australian Dairy Farmers will now be stronger, more focussed and better able to engage on the important national issues on behalf of dairy farmers. A smaller Board will concentrate on national strategy and oversight of operations with National Councillors able to focus on policy and advocacy issues so that dairy farmers have the support they need and are represented in national debates.
The ADF restructure will achieve:
- Better value for dairy farmer members;
- Membership growth and retention for state organisations;
- Greater transparency and accountability;
- More effective and efficient use of resources nationally;
- Succession planning and capacity building;
- Improved communication;
- Closer ties between state organisations and ADF;
- A partnership approach to whole of industry issues by farmers and processors;
- A financially sustainable and more effective ADF.
Key elements of the restructure
- A smaller board, focussed on strategy and oversight of ADF operations.
- A new National Council with state grass roots farmer representatives. A state representative body tasked to provide input on strategic direction and policy matters.
- ADF’s Policy Advisory Groups open to grass roots farmers selected for expertise and interest.
- Processor investment in whole of industry policy or advocacy issues, sharing the cost and providing a consistent industry voice.
Restructure Q&A provides more information about the ADF restructure and answers some of the commonly asked questions.