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

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. 

 

Australian Dairy Industry Sustainability Report: How we’re tracking

Dec 08, 2014

The Australian Dairy Industry Sustainability 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 second Sustainability Framework Progress Report is due to be released in December to benchmark how the industry is tracking towards achieving these targets, including supporting case studies to back these findings.



The ADF Update had the opportunity to preview some of the report’s preliminary findings, which can be found below.

ü  14.5% reduction in volume of green house gas emissions intensity generated by dairy manufacturers’ use of fuel and electricity since 2010/11 – a 30% reduction is the target set by 2020.

ü  46% of on-farm and factory workers now have a documented occupational health and safety (OH&S) plan – by 2020, the framework aims for 100% to have completed OH&S training.

ü  56% of farmers are aware of a new set of animal welfare standards and guidelines for cattle that have been developed – whilst yet to be legislated, the industry seeks 100% compliance with the guidelines’ standards by 2020.

ü  10.5% reduction in water consumption since 2010/11 – a 20% reduction by 2020 is the target set for the manufacturing sector.

ü  44.5% reduction in waste to landfill by manufacturers since 2010/11, which has already met and exceeded the target of a 40% reduction by 2020.


Dairy Industry Sustainability Framework Steering Committee Chair, Chris Griffin said the 2014 Progress Report provides evidence the dairy industry is committed to delivering mutually beneficial outcomes for the community and the environment.


“The Report demonstrates the benefits of the value chain working together to help create value for our industry, our customers and the community,” Mr Griffin said.


“Built on existing industry activities, we hope it will provide guidance to farmers, dairy companies and industry bodies on achieving our shared priorities and commitments."


To view the 2014 Progress Report online, stay tuned to www.australiandairyfarmers.com.au over the coming week.

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