Dairy remains hopeful of comprehensive TPP outcome

Aug 17, 2015

In the wake of the Maui Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) ministerial meetings, the Australian Dairy Industry Council (ADIC) has re-emphasised the importance of achieving a commercially meaningful outcome for all Australian dairy producers with regards to the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP).

While the ADIC is disappointed that a meaningful agreement has not been reached to date, it remains hopeful that in the near future a TPP which is in the best interests of the Australian dairy industry - and importantly the Australian community as a whole, will be completed.

The TPP is a multi-country Free Trade Agreement (FTA) currently under negotiation between Australia, Brunei, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, Japan, the United States, Vietnam, Mexico and Canada.

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, TPP must be ambitious, comprehensive and commercially meaningful.

ADIC Chair, Noel Campbell said there is still a lot of work to be done and key dairy market access outcomes across the TPP remain unresolved.

“Major dairy players must recognise the importance of trade liberalisation and honouring previously agreed positions to advancing negotiations in a positive manner,” Mr Campbell said.

“A commercially meaningful outcome for the TPP would provide benefits to all countries involved, their industries and consumers. Yet in order to achieve positive results across the board all TPP nations must demonstrate a willingness to negotiate in good faith.”

Mr Campbell acknowledged the efforts of the Minister for Trade, the Hon. Andrew Robb, his staff and the team of dedicated negotiators who have worked on its behalf.

“We will continue to promote the interests of Australian dairy as negotiations progress, and hope to see a comprehensive agreement reached in the near future.”

The ADIC remains are committed to working Government to reach a transformative outcome that provides opportunity for its farmers and processors.

To find out more about the ADIC’s work to liberalise access to key dairy export markets see here


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. 


World Milk Day - Celebrating our farmers

Jun 01, 2015

Monday 1 June, is World Milk Day.

The Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations started the day of recognition in 2001, and we’re using the occasion to celebrate the Aussie farmers who work hard to produce this delicious, nutritious beverage.

For Australian dairy farmers, producing and delivering premium milk is a matter of pride. This is why Australian dairy has a reputation for consistently high quality and safe products worldwide.

They work hard 7 days a week, 365 days a year to create fresh, great tasting and wholesome fresh milk that Aussies consumed almost 2.5 billion litres of in 2014 alone.

Each daily on-farm activity involved in producing the milk, whether ensuring the cows are healthy or efficiently cleaning milking equipment, contributes to the quality assurance of dairy products. From the twice daily health herd checks during milking to stringent testing for milk headed for the processor, safety is ingrained in what we do.

Our industry is known for being a ‘dairy deli’ in that we place great importance on the quality rather than quantity of supply and this is what sets us apart. It’s our point of difference to focus on our high quality standards and it’s something our industry must maintain (even with our aspirations of growth) as we will never compete on quantity or price with our major competitors.

Dairy farmers work rain, hail or shine to produce our milk and want to be known for being prosperous, trusted and world renowned for the nutrition of our dairy products. Like any Australian, dairy farmers hope to see the effort put into our work reflected in our returns.

Australian Dairy Farmers (ADF), as part of the Australian Dairy Industry Council (ADIC), is committed to ensuring our dairying sector has a sustainable future. That’s why we’re working with our farmers, processors and industry partners, including Dairy Australia, to ensure that dairy continues to enhance livelihoods, improve wellbeing and minimise its environmental footprint well into the future.

This commitment is recognised and promoted through the Dairy Industry’s Sustainability Framework. The second Progress Report has just been released and shows that while we still have hurdles to overcome, progress is being made. This Framework highlights to the rest of the world that Australian dairy is acting on its social, economic and environmental responsibility.

To produce, refrigerate, transport, process, distribute and deliver fresh milk requires a considerable amount of daily planning, work, risk and investment on the part of dairy farmers and processors.

So why be a dairy farmer? Is all the milk worth it? Dairy farmers would say yes ten times over – because they’re passionate about it.

This World Milk Day, we ask that everyone remember that milk is made from hard yakka, pure passion and a commitment to sustainable practices. It is made by an Aussie dairy farmer. 

 

Temporary skilled visas crucial for labour shortage

May 12, 2015

Like many agricultural commodities in Australia, dairy has an acute skilled labour shortage. Although the Australian dairy industry always gives precedence to employing Australian workers, enabling farmers to access skilled overseas workers is a positive way of addressing the gap when suitable domestic labour is not available.

The industry continues to assist farmers in gaining better access to overseas labour, through working to streamline the visa application processes for both farmers and workers. Further work is required by Government in this area to fully address the scope of this issue.

On 30 April 2015, the Australian Dairy Industry Council (ADIC) lodged its submission to the Senate Education and Employment committee’s review into the impact of Australia’s temporary work visa programs on Australia’s labour market and on the temporary work visa holders.

Issues such as the need for improved alignment of the Australian Qualifications Framework and the skill classifications used by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection, as well as the extension of 417 and 462 visas from six to 12 months, were key recommendations put forward by the ADIC.

In the submission, the ADIC highlighted the industry’s strong commitment to attracting, developing and retaining a highly skilled domestic workforce through a range of initiatives, including the National Centre for Dairy Education (NCDE), which provides high quality education and training opportunities for people interested in developing a career in dairy.

The Australian dairy industry wholeheartedly supports fair and equal treatment of foreign workers. Recently, ABC’s investigative journalism programFour Cornersfeatured the mistreatment of migrant workers from Asia and Europe on a few poultry and horticulture farms in Australia. Such behaviour is not condoned by the ADIC and runs counter to the industry’s efforts to ensure that dairy farmers are responsible for their employment practices, including fair workplace relations and migration laws.

The Employment Starter Kit initiative (ESKi), which was developed by Dairy Australia in conjunction with Australian Dairy Farmers (ADF), is an example of this. The ESKi has been circulated to over 1,500 dairy farmers across Australia, assisting them in their understanding of Australia’s legal employment requirements, as well as offering information on how to improve working environments for both employees and employers.

For more information about how the ADIC is working to improve dairy’s acute labour shortage, click here or contact ADF Policy Officer, Kelly Im: kim@australiandairyfarmers.com.au.

 

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