Queensland puts focus on ‘New Horizons’

Sep 17, 2014

China was also under discussion at the Queensland Dairyfarmers’ Organisation (QDO) Conference on 16 September.

The conference theme was ‘New Horizons’ with discussion of potential opportunities and challenges for dairy. Norco Deputy Chair, Tony Wilson’s presentation, ‘Alternative Markets/Building Demand’ sparked great interest given the Norco deal to export fresh milk to China.

ADF CEO, Natalie Collard updated participants on ADF activities and reinstated ADF’s mission to improve the profitability and sustainability of dairy farmers in Australia.

Ms Collard outlined industry priorities identified at the ADF National Dairy Farmers’ Summit in March – in particular to encourage innovation investment and growth; to encourage investment and confidence in the industry; and to encourage Government to continue with trade reform that benefits dairy.

Ms Collard and ADF Senior Policy Manager, David Losberg said they enjoyed the panel discussion with Paul Roderick from Harrisville and David Kucks from Quinalow, which explored challenges and opportunities in dairy.

QDO President QDO President, Brian Tessmann addressing the conference.

Herd Improvement Strategy Finalised

Sep 03, 2014

herd-improvement The Herd Improvement Industry Strategy has been developed throughout 2014. ADF is represented on the Steering Group. In addition, the Farming Systems and Herd Improvement Policy Advisory Group (PAG) has had a significant role in reviewing and developing ADF feedback on drafts of the Strategy. ADF also requested input from state dairy farmer organisations and hosted a farmer workshop on the draft Strategy in July.

The final version of the Strategy was confirmed by the Steering Group on 29 August. It is now considered to have a clearer vision and stronger recommendations in key areas of interest to ADF. It provides an important reference document for implementing projects that will drive change.

The herd improvement industry vision is: "Dairy farmers maximise their profit through a vibrant herd improvement industry offering effective and highly valued services."

At a meeting on 11 August, the Steering Group discussed the implementation of the Strategy and a draft implementation plan was agreed in principle, with further detail to be developed. The Steering Group will next meet in late October.

The full Strategy is available from ADF or Dairy Australia.

Developing Dairy Leaders Program

Jul 04, 2014

The second residential session of the 2014 Developing Dairy Leaders Program (DDLP) was held in Canberra in June.

dairy leaders (L-R): DDLP Warrnambool participant, Jessica Westwick; Dairy Australia Director, Kelvin Jackson; Member for Wannon, Dan Tehan MP; ADF President, Noel Campbell.

Participants delivered their project presentations to the group and learned about effective advocacy and communication techniques. The participants also heard from several politicians, including Member for Wannon Dan Tehan, Member for Mallee Andrew Broad, and Senator for Victoria Bridget McKenzie. Journalists Colin Bettles from Fairfax Rural Media, Rob Harris from the Weekly Times and Tony Mahar of the NFF spoke about effective advocacy.

Participants also attended the Dairy Australia Legendairy Breakfast at Parliament House to practise their informal networking and advocacy skills with politicians and media. More than 30 Parliamentarians joined the DDLP participants for breakfast, giving them valuable networking experience as well as the opportunity to snap a few ‘selfies’.

The program is expected to run again in 2015. Farmers interested in the 2015 program should contact the ADF office on (03) 8621 4200.

Front of Pack Labelling (FoPL) Health Star Rating

Jul 03, 2014

pack labelling
The Health Star Rating scheme was endorsed by the combined Federal and State Ministerial Forum in June. The scheme rates packaged processed foods from 0.5 to 5 stars based on nutritional value.

The voluntary scheme is now available for manufacturers to implement and it is likely that some dairy companies and some private label dairy products will take it up.

The dairy industry advocated strongly for a labelling scheme that will treat dairy foods appropriately and, in particular, to make sure core dairy foods under Australian Dietary Guidelines (milk, cheese and yogurt) receive an appropriate star rating compared to ‘discretionary’ foods.

There are still some anomalies, with cheeses and yogurts rating too low, and the dairy industry is currently seeking a review of the star rating. There is a formal process to review certain products where there is inconsistency with the Dietary Guidelines.

The preliminary product ratings can be found at: www.foodswitchstars.com.au

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