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. 


President's Message - June 2015

Jun 15, 2015

 

Whether at the farm gate or in the board room, stopping to take stock, acknowledge success and identify areas for improvement is essential to ensuring any good business remains on track to deliver desired outcomes.

Now at the half way mark for 2015, Australian Dairy Farmers (ADF) is reflecting on the progress made thus far and the challenges yet to overcome, with the interests of dairy farmers and their profitability top of mind.

Volatility is a constant theme for dairy farmers and the past six months has been no different with all regions affected in some way by floods, drought and an ever fluctuating global milk price. But while there have been challenges there has also been important progress.

In March, we welcomed the Australian Government’s announcement to introduce legislation capping water buybacks in the Murray-Darling Basin Plan (MDBP) at 1500 gigalitres (GL). The 1500GL cap provides dairy farmers in the Murray-Darling Basin with much-needed certainty about future water availability to sustain their business.

ADF has also welcomed the relaxation of audit requirements for farmers in the southern-connected region of the Basin who participate the On-Farm Irrigation Efficiency Programme. This policy win will be explored later on the newsletter.

ADF’s lobbying on competition policy was instrumental in securing a positive step toward reforming Australia’s flawed legislation - the introduction of a Prescribed Code of Conduct. The Prescribed Code is not perfect, but it does address several key imbalances with regard to retailers’ power over suppliers. We welcome the commitment already made by retailer Woolworths by signing onto the Prescribed Code, and expect that in the days to come all the major retailers will follow suit.

ADF will continue to monitor the Codes’ effectiveness over the next three years with a view to seek the strengthening of regulations if necessary. We will also continue to advocate for an Ombudsman to help balance the market power of major retailers.

The above ‘short list’ skims the surface of the progress made so far this year, with many challenges, and triumphs, still ahead. At the forefront of our agenda is ensuring our industry retains the confidence and trust of consumers, customers and the broader public by addressing issues of concern such as unconventional gas mining and highlighting dairy farmers’ commitment to the health and wellbeing of their cattle.

The team at ADF remains committed to ensuring Australian dairy’s voice is heard through government policies that support our industry, and working with our industry bodies to ensure dairy’s good practices are known and understood across the broader community.

Noel Campbell
ADF President

NSW Farmers Dairy Conference on this month

Jun 13, 2015
The NSW Farmers Dairy Section Annual Conference will be held on Tuesday 16 June at 9:30am at Camden. Primary Industries Minister Niall Blair MLC will address the Dairy NSW industry forum on the same day at 3:00pm. 

All NSW Farmers dairy members are invited to attend. Papers were emailed to all members and hard copies have been posted to those who have registered to attend. 

To register go to www.nswfarmers.org.au.

For more information contact the NSW Farmers’ Livestock Policy Advisor on 1300 794 000.

 


Taking Dairy Bioscience to Canberra

Jun 12, 2015

Dairy bioscience took its place alongside the cochlear ear implant, aeronautics and global stock exchange surveillance software when major technology advances were showcased to the Prime Minister and other dignitaries last month.

Australian Dairy Farmers (ADF) President Noel Campbell joined Dairy Futures CRC’s CEO David Nation and Chair Mike Ginnivan at Parliament House in Canberra for the annual Cooperative Research Centres (CRC) Association Conference.

This year’s event, themed Australia 2040, celebrated 25 years of innovations by more than 40 CRCs to Australian leaders, including Prime Minister Tony Abbott. The conference included an innovation showcase, at which many of the 400 attendees, including ministers, parliamentarians, advisers and ambassadors, took the opportunity to better understand both the scale of innovation being undertaken by the dairy industry and how bioscience will make a real difference to dairy farm businesses through pasture and cattle breeding.

Mr Campbell, Dr Nation and Dr Ginnivan met the Prime Minister and discussed how Dairy Futures CRC is enhancing dairy productivity through pasture and herd improvements using genomics.

Dr Nation said that agriculture now sits beside medicine as a major driver of scientific progress in Australia.

“Dairy Futures CRC is a success story for industry-driven innovation. We have over-delivered on our original commitments and transformed dairy herd and pasture breeding in Australia.

“The effects of many of our innovations are already in farmers’ and commercial partners’ hands and we expect these will grow rapidly over the next 10 years.”

After the showcase, Dairy Futures CRC was delighted to join ADF in hosting The Hon. Joel Fitzgibbon and Senator Bridget McKenzie at a dinner in the Great Hall at Parliament House.

Other distinguished guests included the Prime Minister, keynote speaker and Minister for Industry and Science, The Hon. Ian Macfarlane, Australia’s Chief Scientist, Ian Chubb, as well as ambassadors, high commissioners and senior officials from 15 countries.

Mr Macfarlane spoke of the great benefit CRCs have brought to research and development in Australia, delivering significant economic, environmental and social outcomes.

ADF looks forward to working with Dairy Futures to build the long term sustainability of farming practices, and will continue to advocate strongly for the positive innovations of transformational bioscience.    


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