January 2016 President's Message

Jan 25, 2016

Welcome to the New Year. I hope you have all had the chance for a short break at least, and are ready to work together to tackle the challenges and opportunities that 2016 brings.

In recent years, Australian Dairy Farmers (ADF) has strengthened dairy’s ties with Canberra to raise the profile of the issues that matter most to our farmers. ADF has maintained our reputation of acting apolitically, being accessible to all politicians, and being willing to listen.

This year we will continue to build this profile, while simultaneously building on our capacity to deliver value to members.

So far in 2016, key members of the ADF team have visited members in central New South Wales. In February our CEO will visit Western Australia – to talk and listen about priorities for the year ahead. These are the first of many 2016 interstate meetings to follow.

I encourage you to take the opportunity and introduce yourself to our team. The passion and commitment that the ADF staff has to help achieve a stronger future for our industry is evident, and we are all prepared to listen to your thoughts, ideas and constructive feedback.

The beginning of the year has been challenging for farmers. Extreme weather conditions brought drought or very dry conditions in Tasmania, West Victoria, South Australia as well as savage bushfires in Western Australia. ADF is seeking to assist its state members with recovery efforts. I commend the efforts of WA Farmers, Western Dairy and Dairy Australia, in providing practical support and counsel to the affected farmers in WA.

Events like these are a timely reminder that so many aspects of our business are affected by elements beyond our control. ADF is committed to ensure that farmers have the information and resources they need to take control of what they can. Dairy Australia also has a great resource of tools and information to assist in preparation and recovery.

In February, ADF will host an environmental scanning and industry planning workshop with key stakeholders such as our state members and Dairy Australia. These sessions will aid in setting our advocacy priorities for 2016, to establish a sound policy platform which ensures we can capitalise upon growth opportunities delivered by 2015’s advocacy.

I look forward to getting out and about in order to meet with as many members and non-members as possible over the course of 2016 to ensure ADF can continue to deliver value for the industry.

Simone Jolliffe

ADF President

PoM rent increase will damage dairy's competitiveness

Jun 17, 2015

The Australian Dairy Industry Council (ADIC) is extremely concerned about the Victorian Government proposal to increase rent of stevedoring facilities at the Port of Melbourne (PoM). The size of the reported increase will have a large and disproportionate impact on the dairy industry, including both dairy farmers and companies that export product through the port.

With around 85% of total dairy exports channelled through the PoM, dairy is the 5th largest user of the port. According to ADIC Chair, Noel Campbell the move could cripple dairy’s future competitiveness.

“The Australian dairy industry operates in an open international market, competing directly with products from other dairy producing countries,” Mr Campbell explained.

“Dairy manufacturers operating out of the PoM will be unable to simply add on the cost of the rent increase to their exported products without incurring negative effects in the global market place. This means the rent hike will be charged back to dairy farmers.”

Basing their estimating on the fact that each Twenty-foot Equivalent Container (TEU) will be handed a $100 rent increase per container, the ADIC said the impact on individual dairy farmers could be in excess of $1,000 per farm.

“The export market provides substantial and important markets for our products, one where there is clearly great demand for our high quality, safe products,” Mr Campbell said. “Exporting to these regions ensures the industry’s ongoing viability and growth.”

The ADIC has also expressed concern that the funds raised by the Government through the increased rent are not committed to improving port facilities, but will instead be directed to the cost of removing railway crossings in suburban Melbourne.

This will have repercussions for port fees in the future and provide no direct benefit to the dairy and other manufacturers that use the port. The impact on dairy and other commodity exports is further exacerbated by the proposed 50-year non-compete clause that will effectively mean the abandonment of the development of Hastings as an alternative deep-water port.

For further information on the ADIC’s policy and advocacy work in the markets, trade and value chain area click here


TPP must be commercially meaningful for dairy

Jun 10, 2015

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) offers a historic opportunity to address a broad range of distortions affecting Australian dairy producers, and to ensure consumers throughout the region involved have access to safe, high quality Australian products.

A free trade negotiation that commenced in March 2010, the TPP involves 12 Pacific Rim countries including Australia, who account for approximately 40% of the world’s GDP*. Included in this round up are key Australian dairy export markets such as Japan, Singapore and Malaysia, as well as competitor countries such as New Zealand and the USA.

Australia exports dairy products to all eleven TPP countries – between 250,000 and 300,000 tonnes valued at around $US1 billion per year. Around 50% of these exports (worth $425 million in 2013/14) go to Japan.

Throughout the negotiations, the Australian Dairy Industry Council (ADIC) has continuously lobbied for the TPP to address traditional tariff barriers for dairy products and more subtle trade distorting non-tariff measures such as the European Union’s aggressive stance on Geographical Indications, as demonstrated in their trade agreement with Canada.

The ADIC expects that the TPP will address these non-tariff barriers, especially in the Japanese and Canadian markets where these restrictions are most pervasive. For the TPP to be commercially meaningful, markets like Canada and Japan must demonstrate that they are prepared to significantly increase their existing dairy market access positions.

Sustained economic and population growth is driving an increase in dairy demand for the Asia-Pacific, but to take full advantage of this unprecedented opportunity, the TPP must be ambitious, comprehensive and commercially meaningful.

The latest round of TPP negotiations took place in Guam at chief negotiator level on 26 May 2015. There are many issues yet to be addressed and the ministerial meeting planned to follow the negotiators talks did not take place with the US Congress yet to pass the crucial Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) Bill.

The ADIC will continue to advocate strongly for dairy’s interests in the TPP.

*Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States and Vietnam. 


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