February President's Message

Feb 29, 2016

There has been a lot of discussion about investment for a stronger future this month, with a great deal of excitement generated by recent investments in Australian dairy.

Such investment will have positive impacts for farming communities.Investors may be interested in further value added opportunities for milk processing. This could be a generator of new growth and development for the whole industry. Investment that passes our foreign investment regulatory tests continue to the benefit of Australian dairy.

Importantly, our industry recognises that this stronger future depends equally on economic, environmental and social outcomes. Dairy continues to hold itself accountable by not waiting for change to occur, but by initiating positive change ourselves. The industry’s progress is highlighted by the Sustainability Framework’s 2015 Progress Report – set to be released shortly via www.sustainabledairyoz.com.au.

It was my great pleasure to discuss the industry’s performance against the key targets with the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources in late February at the Canberra Dairy Forum, and to share more about our industry’s commitment to retaining our social licence to operate.

I encourage you all to take a look at the Progress Report when it is released in mid-march and provide feedback.

Part of tackling sustainability challenges and helping the industry demonstrate performance to the Australian community, is investing in agile representative structures. On the heels of a period of significant policy achievement, ADF is in the strongest position it has ever been. Much of this we owe to our 2012 restructure which helped build greater transparency and engagement with key stakeholders, particularly decision makers in government.

We recognise that there is room to further improve our representative models, to ensure that we can continue to effectively advocate on behalf of all dairy farmers in all dairying regions. The proposed National Farmers’ Federation’s restructure has begun this conversation and ADF looks forward to furthering this discussion to ensure dairy representation has a future that maintains currency, relevance and accountability.

Simone Jolliffe

ADF President

Extreme weather preparation

Feb 19, 2016

Extreme weather conditions in February continue to challenge farmers across all dairying regions. Bushfires in Tasmania and Western Australia have impacted dairy farms. As farm businesses may be affected by elements beyond their control, preparing for threats is essential to protect your family, staff, livestock and business. ADF’s primary focus is to ensure famers are equipped with fundamental information and to work with its state members with recovery efforts.

 

To access resources and tools to help manage extreme weather events, refer to Dairy Australia’s website here.

Trans-Pacific Partnership signed

Feb 04, 2016

The official signing of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) in Auckland, on 4 February has been welcomed by the Australian Dairy Industry Council (ADIC). The signing follows an agreement reached between the twelve negotiating countries on 6 October 2015.

The TPP made some gains made for the Australian dairy industry in improving opportunities in key export markets such as Japan.

The conclusion of the TPP continues a historic period of increased trade liberalisation over the past few years.

Following the signing ceremony, Australia must now go through a domestic ratification process. This means that before any binding treaty action is taken, the TPP text and a National Interest Analysis will be tabled in Parliament for 20 joint sitting days.

The Joint Standing Committee on Treaties (JSCOT) will conduct an inquiry into the TPP and report back to Parliament on 'matters arising from the TPP treaty and related National Interest Analysis and proposed treaty actions presented or deemed to be presented to the Parliament.'

The ADIC will provide a submission to the inquiry.


 

Trade reforms a positive kick start for 2016

Jan 23, 2016

Over the course of 2015, Australian Dairy Farmers (ADF), together with state members and industry partners has worked collaboratively with government to broker new trade deals which increase access to key Asian markets hungry for safe, clean and sustainable Australian dairy produce.

ADF welcomed the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement (FTA) which entered into force on 20 December 2015, followed quickly by a second round of tariff reductions on 1 January 2016.

Also on New Year’s Day, the Korea-Australia FTA progressed to its third year of benefits for dairy exporters, meaning further tariff reductions and increased quotas for a range of Australian dairy exports.

Similarly, the Malaysia-Australia FTA moved into its fourth year of implementation, translating to further increased liquid milk tariff rate quotas. The Thai-Australia and US-Australia FTA’s also celebrated a milestone in passing the 10 year point, and provided improved duty free quotas for Australian dairy.

Further to this, the finalisation of the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations in late 2015, plus the late December announcement of an agreement to abolish government subsidies on agricultural exports through the World Trade Organisation.

The Australian dairy industry still faces challenges in its export focused markets, especially with regard to technical barriers to trade which translate to higher production costs, reduced product returns and restricted export demands all combine to lower milk returns for farmers.

With these challenges in mind, ADF is celebrating the progress made in trade reform to the long-term benefit of our industry. This progress boosts the industry’s competitive position in the global market and contributes to building confidence to invest in a strong future for Australian dairy.

For more information on ADF’s Markets Trade and Value Chain priorities, click here.

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