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.

 


 

Pressing pause on the Basin Plan

Nov 01, 2015

The Australian Dairy Industry Council’s (ADIC) has expressed concern in a submission to the Senate Inquiry into the Murray-Darling Basin Plan, regarding the impact of the Basin Plan on dairy business viability.

In the submission the ADIC states its support for a plan with clear and appropriate targets to recover water for the environment provided farms remain viable. So far, more than 1160GL of a possible 1500GL transferred from irrigation to the environment through buybacks.
 
Dairy farmer and Chair of the ADIC Water Taskforce, Daryl Hoey said in its current form the Basin Plan isn’t achieving the right balance, setting unrealistic timelines as well as a lack of planned transition and structural adjustment.

“A significant pain of adjustment is already being felt in the dairy industry, even if no more water is transferred from the irrigation pool across to the environment,” Mr Hoey explained.

“We can clearly see the impacts on dairy farming systems through exposure to higher water prices, a more volatile temporary water market; reduced viability of some irrigation districts; and overall, difficulty in growing our milk production.”

Dairy Australia analysis indicates that, based on conservative estimates, the 120GL of high reliability water entitlements dairy farmers in the Goulburn Murray Irrigation District sold to the Commonwealth as buybacks, could have resulted in the production of an additional 289 million litres of milk if those entitlements were still owned. That 289 million litres of milk would be worth approximately $144 million at the Farmgate.
Farmers in the same district are now sourcing around 275 GL a year from the temporary market to meet their needs (due to reduced ownership of entitlements) have added a cost impost of $41million at $150/ML. On 12 October 2015 temporary water was trading at $300/ML.

The ADIC is calling for Government to “press pause” on the Basin Plan to ensure it can achieve the right balance, and therefore achieve genuine outcomes.

“To get the Basin Plan back on track we need more realistic timelines and a clearer picture of socio-economic and environmental effects before more water is taken from the irrigation pool,” Mr Hoey said.

“This includes a clearer understanding of the water market and more appropriate approach to the 450GL “upwater”. We are also seeking greater flexibility to trade environmental water and an appropriate sustainable diversion limit adjustment mechanism.”

The ADIC has welcomed the Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder’s decision to sell 20 GL of temporary water in the Goulburn system, which will enable more trading of temporary water. However, the ADIC said it is vital producers in the region benefit from the availability of this water through a fair process to trading the water.

Representatives from the dairy industry are seeking to attend the Murray Darling Basin Plan Senate Inquiry hearings scheduled in November. To see the full recommendations from the ADIC submission see http://www.australiandairyfarmers.com.au/submissions

Are you prepared for el niño?

Aug 11, 2015

With the Bureau of Metrology declaring that the 2015 El Niño is strengthening, farmers are expecting lower rainfall and temperature extremes. While El Niño cannot be guaranteed, it may be useful to put some back up plans into place.

  • To ensure you are prepared for the climatic changes the El Niño may bring, it is important to sit down with someone in your family or staff to plan for potential drought and resource shortages, including:

 

  • A feed budget and alternative options if fodder becomes less available
  • Alternative sources of fibre to fill a shortfall in your region; and
  • How a warm and dry spring could affect your operations in the longer term.


For more information about El Nino preparedness, see Dairy Australia’s Preparing for Drought and El Niño conditions webpage.


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. 

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