Industry farewells two “top blokes”

Dec 05, 2014

The Australian dairy industry has recently farewelled two long-standing leaders; dedicated dairy farmers; husbands; fathers; and grandfathers... But most of all, two “top blokes”.


Officially stepping down from their roles as Directors on the ADF Board at the end of 2014, together  Chris Griffin and Peter Evans have served over 70 remarkable years as dairy leaders.


ADF Chair, Noel Campbell said their presence will be missed.


“Their tireless efforts and unrelenting dedication to improving and promoting our great industry over many years has not gone unnoticed,” Mr Campbell said.


With more than 35 years experience in dairying on his farm at Westbury, Gippsland, Mr Griffin has led dairy through tough times of drought and the milk price wars. He has also opened our eyes to the possibilities of the future, in new markets, new technology and innovative on-farm practices.  


Chris Griffin on his Gippsland dairy farm, Victoria


Mr Griffin, who has served as a member of the ADF Board since 2005, is the immediate past President of ADF, and former Chair of the ADIC, said the industry was full of people who care.


“People join these organisations because they are vehicles for getting things done... This is an industry in great hands and I’ll be watching with keen interest,” Mr Griffin said.


West Australian dairy farmer, Mr Evans has been active in farmers associations since 1978 and has held many notable industry positions, including having served on the ADF Board since 2007 and in the role of ADF Vice President from 2011 to 2012.

Peter Evans receiving the 2014 WA Milk Bottle Award


Most recently winner of the prestigious WA Milk Bottle Award for outstanding service to the dairy industry earlier this year, Mr Evans said he never considered himself to be a “political animal”.


“I never considered myself to be a political animal but because of poor politics in WA (at the time of industry deregulation), I found advocacy a great tool for getting things done.


“Now into my seventh year on the ADF Board, we are far from perfect but our policies are having better traction with Government than ever before,” Mr Evans said.


ADF wishes the retired Directors all the best as they look to spend more time with their families, travelling and on-farm. 

National Breeding Objective: Officially launched

Dec 03, 2014

The prosperity of the Australian dairy industry is underpinned by the profitability of the cows farmers milk. New breeding indices set an exciting path for genetic improvement in Australia.

Developed by the National Breeding Objective (NBO) Task Force and driven by the Australian Dairy Improvement Scheme (ADHIS) after an extensive consultation process with dairy farmers from across all dairying regions, the NBO aims to deliver herds that the Australian dairy industry needs for the future.

Three new breeding indices will be released from April 2015. The Balanced Performance Index (BPI) will replace the Australian Profit Ranking and aims to achieve farm profit through a balance of longevity, health, type and efficient production. Two additional indices will also be introduced to align with specific breeding philosophies, namely the Health Weighted Index (HWI) and the Type Weighted Index (TWI).

Officially launched at the Australian Dairy Industry Council (ADIC) Industry Leaders’ Breakfast, ADHIS General Manager, Daniel Abernethy said the new indices are backed by strong science and are in line with farmer trait preferences.

“For the first time, farmers and their advisors directly contributed towards the NBO’s development through initiatives including Australia’s Longest Farmwalk and a sector wide survey to ensure the indices are well suited for the future needs of farmers,” Mr Abernethy said.

In another industry first, the new breeding indices now also include feed efficiency - a new trait which has been developed through ground breaking research from the Dairy Futures CRC and the Department of Environment and Primary Industries Victoria, supported by Dairy Australia and The Geoffrey Gardiner Foundation.

For more information and to download a copy of the NBO, click here.

China FTA: How does it weigh up?

Dec 03, 2014

As New Zealand (NZ) Prime Minister, John Key has reportedly been working to ensure NZ’s dairy industry receives equal benefits to our industry, it’s clear that Australia’s free trade agreement (FTA) with China has weighed up very well.


With negotiations concluded and a Declaration of Intent signed on 17 November, the China-Australia FTA has delivered a significant confidence boost to the whole dairy value chain, with the outcomes presenting real opportunities for dairy to grow and prosper.


So what does the deal promise and how does it compare to NZ’s existing FTA with China?


While the FTA is currently in its legal review phase, it has secured the following tariff outcomes:
  • Elimination of the 15% tariff on infant formula over 4 years;
  •  Elimination of the 10 ‐ 19% tariff on ice cream, lactose, casein and milk albumins over 4 years;
  • Elimination of the 15% tariff on liquid milk over 9 years;
  • Elimination of the 10 ‐ 15% tariff on cheese, butter and yogurt over 9 years; and
  • Elimination of the 10% tariff on milk powders over 11 years.

In comparison to our trade deal, the China-NZ FTA contains restrictive safeguard measures on a wide range of dairy products, including liquid milk, cheese, butter and all milk powders. These safeguards or quotas mean that China raises the tariff back to the normal rate when NZ’s exports exceed a certain volume of product.

Under our FTA, Australian dairy will only face a discretionary safeguard on whole milk powders, with the safeguard trigger volume set well above current trade levels and indexed to grow annually. For all other dairy products there will be no safeguards and Australia will receive unlimited preferential access.

Australian Dairy Farmers (ADF) President, Noel Campbell said now that the deal has been done, the hard work begins – seizing the opportunities the agreement offers and making them work for our industry.

“The effects of the deal won’t be immediate, and to effectively capitalise on the improved market conditions, on-farm investment and upgrades to the industry’s infrastructure are necessary,” Mr Campbell said.

“The FTA with China opens the gate to the Chinese market, now it’s up to industry to work together to leverage the benefits.”

Mr Campbell thanked Minister for Trade and Investment, Andrew Robb, the Australian government, industry and the broader dairy community for its ongoing support throughout the negotiations.

Click here to download your copy of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s Implementation Timeline or see www.fta4dairy.com.au for more information.


Outstanding Service Award celebrates first ever dairy duo

Dec 01, 2014


Dairying duo, Lindsay and Ann Jarvis, were recognised as the first couple to receive the Australian Dairy Industry Council’s (ADIC) Outstanding Service Award (OSA) for their collective commitment to dairy at the ADIC Industry Leaders’ Breakfast, 28 November.

ADIC Chair, Noel Campbell said like many men and women who dedicate their lives, professionally and personally to dairy, the Jarvis’ are a team.

“It would be remiss to recognise the efforts of one without the other,” Mr Campbell said.

Addressing a room filled with dairy leaders from across the whole value chain, the couple said they were humbled by the award, which recognises people as the core of what makes the industry work.

“Our ability to thrive (as an industry) requires caring, co-operation, commitment, collaboration and concentration on the wellbeing of our people,” Mrs Jarvis said.

 “The best genetics, soils, research breakthroughs and new markets won’t succeed unless we are all fully are committed.”

Describing their partnership as “one part dreamer, one part doer” the Jarvis’ each bring a unique approach and skill set to dairy.

Having spent 31 years as a director at Murray Goulburn, Mr Jarvis, the ‘dreamer’ of the pair has transformed the couple’s 148 year old, 280 hectare dry-land farm into a contour flood irrigation system, used his welding skills to build a swing-over herringbone dairy.

With a belief in educating and encouraging young people and, particularly, women to engage with new challenges, Mrs Jarvis, the ‘doer’ of the pair, managed the family farm and its workers while Lindsay was off farm.  Mrs Jarvis also spent seven years volunteering for the highly respected Dookie College Advisory Committee.

Actively involved in dairy organisations their whole careers, the Jarvis’ are respected members of United Dairyfarmers of Victoria, and have each received an Order of Australia for their service to the dairy industry.

The OSA award has been traditionally presented at the ADIC Dairy Industry Leaders’ Breakfast since 2006, to recognise individual Australians who, through their leadership, dedication and commitment, have provided outstanding service for the benefit of the dairy industry.

For more information about the ADIC Outstanding Service Award, click here.

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