Progress and challenges revealed by dairy’s 2015 Sustainability Report

Mar 11, 2016

There is a rising demand worldwide for companies and industries to meet the needs of people today without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs.

Australia’s dairy farmers and manufacturers are proud to be part of a global movement which aspires to meet this demand, whatever understanding people have of sustainability.

One of the ways we demonstrate our whole-of-industry commitment to increasing prosperity for industry and communities, our care for people and animals, and minimising our environmental footprint is through the Australian Dairy Industry Sustainability Framework.

Established in 2012 to help guide Australian improvement against 11 targets and 41 performance measures the Framework is lead by the Australian Dairy Industry Council, managed by an industry Steering Committee, and supported by Dairy Australia.

Our 2015 Progress Report shows our improvement, but also our challenges. During 2015 there were several areas of improvement including:

  • The industry’s efforts in helping the Government to secure Free Trade Agreements with China, Japan and Korea, will help increase our competitiveness and profitability;
  • The intensity of waste sent to landfill by manufacturers, which has dropped 46% since 2011, exceeding the target for 2020 several years ahead of schedule;
  • The proportion of farmers with nutrient management plans, which at 58% is on-track to achieve the 2020 target of 80%, having almost doubled since 2013; and
  • The reduction in the use of routine calving induction - 88% of farmers do not use it compared to 80% in 2014.

Although we made good progress against some targets, there are others where more progress is needed, such as increasing the proportion of dairy farmers who are aware of, and implement, the recently agreed (January 2016) standards and guidelines for animal welfare. Currently, awareness stands at 56% and our target for 2020 is 100%.

There are other areas where the industry’s performance has declined, such as the proportion of people who recognise dairy as a quality product, which slipped to 69% from a baseline of 72% (the 2020 target is 80%).

To ensure our industry remains current, relevant and accountable in the context of changing global and domestic conditions and expectations, a review of all the targets, indicators and performance measures in the Framework will be undertaken during 2016.

The review will take into consideration a broad range of emerging issues, stakeholder views, industry priorities, political agendas and global trends.

The ADIC is excited to share our progress thus far – it demonstrates just how powerful dairy can be when the whole supply chain works together toward its common goals.

We encourage you to take the time to have a look at the key areas that interest you in the online report and look forward to hearing your thoughts.

A snapshot of the Australia dairy industry and our sustainability progress...

Sustainability Framework recognised with Banksia Award

Nov 20, 2015

The Australian dairy industry has been recognised for its ongoing commitment to sustainability at the Banksia Sustainability Awards held in Sydney on November 13.

The industry was presented with the Food for Sustainable Thought Award and was a finalist for the Natural Capital Award for work achieved under its Sustainability Framework. Chair of the Sustainability Framework Steering Committee, Chris Griffin accepted the award on behalf of the industry.

 

“The Australian dairy industry is committed to achieving ongoing improvement to ensure a sustainable future for the next generation of farmers and dairy consumers,” Mr Griffin said.

“We thank the Banksia Foundation and the judges involved for recognising our commitment to a sustainable future and our progress so far.”

An important part of the Australian dairy industry implementing the framework is for customers and the community to follow our performance and progress,” Mr Griffin said.

“We welcome the opportunity to share the evidence of our progress against key targets on our farms and in the manufacturing sector.”

An initiative of the Australian Dairy Industry Council (ADIC) in collaboration with Dairy Australia, the Australian Dairy Industry Sustainability Framework takes whole-of-chain approach to sustainability from feed production to manufacturing, retail and packaging.

Endorsed by industry in 2012, the Framework outlines the industry’s commitment to enhance livelihoods, improve wellbeing and reduce our environmental footprint. 

To ensure dairy is recognised worldwide as a responsible, responsive and prosperous producer of nutritious food, the Framework sets 11 economic, social and environmental targets to be achieved by the year 2020.

The third Sustainability Framework Progress Report is due to be released in February 2016 to benchmark how the industry is tracking towards achieving these targets, including supporting case studies to back these findings.

 


 

Legendairy event showcase #gendairy leaders

Jul 21, 2015

Dairy’s most important asset is its people, and the 2015 Developing Dairy Leaders Program (DDLP) Alumni Masterclass is a strong testament to this. Run by Dairy Australia in partnership with Australian Dairy Farmers, the 2015 DDLP Alumni Masterclass provided nine participants the opportunity to further hone their leadership abilities.

The Masterclass focused on understanding leadership as a set of behaviours rather than a fixed position and was facilitated by life coach, Margie Warrell who has previously facilitated programs for organisations such as NASA and the United Nations.

The Masterclass attended a dinner where they were able to meet with industry representatives, and were later given the chance to listen to former Queensland Premier Anna Bligh, who delivered an inspiring speech about leadership.

On the final day, Masterclass participants attended the Canberra Legendairy Breakfast with parliamentarians – the perfect networking opportunity for future leaders of dairy.

Alumni took up the challenge eagerly, engaging politicians such as the Minister for Environment, the Hon. Greg Hunt and Senator Bridget McKenzie in discussion about a range of issues - from mental health to minimising the industry’s environmental footprint - putting to use the skills acquired throughout the DDLP program.

DDLP Alumni, Victorian farmer and ADF Natural Resource PAG Member, Dianne Bowles described the experience “refreshing”.

“It was wonderful to have the opportunity to engage with policy makers such as the Federal Member for Bendigo, the Hon. Lisa Chester who are truly interested in key issues affecting the sustainable growth of Australian dairy,” Ms Bowles said.

“The whole DDLP experience has provided me with a renewed understanding of the way Government and therefore industry advocacy works. It has encouraged me more than ever to stand up and take charge – I’d encourage all in the dairy industry to do just that too.”

Addressing the Legendairy crowd ADF Director, Simone Jolliffe spoke about the importance of leadership beyond the traditional view of the buck stopping with the person at the top.

“We often think of leaders and leadership as if they are the same thing. But who the leaders are and how they lead are two different things,” Ms Jolliffe said. 

“It is vital for our industry to have leaders, who can set direction and help themselves and others do the right thing to move forward. Leadership is not about knowing all the answers. It is about creating the right environment to ask the challenging questions.”

“What follows is being able to listen. There’s no point in asking a question if you put the ear muffs on when others start to answer you.”

The Legendairy Breakfast also featured Dairy Australia Chair, Geoff Akers and Minister for Environment, the Hon. Greg Hunt as key speakers. Around 35 members of parliament and their staff attended making the most of the opportunity to meet alumni and industry leaders while enjoying a dairy infused breakfast.

ADF works in collaboration with Dairy Australia to drive the DDLP which is managed by the NCDE. The DDLP aims to develop the capability and capacity of people in the industry who are interested in becoming more actively involved in representative and leadership roles within dairy and their community. 

To find out more about ADF’s work in the People and Human Capacity Policy Area click here

 

ADF Director, Simone Jolliffe with Senator Bridget McKenzie and Federal Minister for Environment, Greg Hunt. 


Federal Member for Bendigo, Lisa Chester MP with DDLP Alumni, Dianne Bowles at the Legendairy Breakfast. 

Boost for dairy competitiveness welcomed

Jul 18, 2015

The much-anticipated Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper released on Saturday 4 July on Australian Dairy Farmers (ADF) National Councillor, Roma Britnell’s dairy farm in Victoria has delivered key initiatives which mark a positive step toward delivering higher productivity and profitability for Australian dairy.

Key benefits for dairy farmers which have been championed by ADF as part of the Australian Dairy Industry Council (ADIC) include increased funding for Agricultural Counsellors abroad to address technical barriers to trade in overseas markets; improved flexibility of Farm Management Deposits and investment in establishing agricultural expertise in the provision of an Agricultural Commissioner for the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).

“We are pleased to see that key points of the ADIC’s recommendations to the Green Paper have been taken on board,” ADIC Chair, Noel Campbell said.

“In particular, the provision of $11.4 million over four years toward boosting ACCC engagement with agriculture, including an ACCC Agriculture Commissioner, will aid in fostering a stronger business environment throughout the supply chain.”

The ADIC submissions to the issues and green papers covered all aspects of agricultural policy with a particular focus on the following key areas:

  • Continued support for research, development and extension projects;
  • Overseas trade market access;
  • Strengthening competition laws;
  • Improving skilled labour availability.

The Government’s enhanced commitment to research, development and extension projects with a focus on innovation and risk management was also welcomed by the ADIC. The commitment of $200 million to improve biosecurity surveillance and analysis nationally will also play an essential role in creating a more durable, profitable and competitive dairy industry.

Additionally, the Government’s confirmation for water efficiency projects combined with improving existing water infrastructure and developing new infrastructure is positive. Increased support for these initiatives was a key recommendation in the ADIC’s submission to the Green Paper.

Mr Campbell said that the ADIC is committed to working with Government to see swift implementation of the initiatives delivered in the White Paper.

“The White Paper points us in the right direction in terms of where we want to go and as an industry we now look forward to working with Government to ensure that these initiatives translate into real outcomes for dairy.”

Click here to view the ADIC’s submission to the Agricultural Competitiveness Green Paper. 


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