Canberra celebrates dairy innovation

Oct 15, 2015

Over 100 parliamentarians, advisors, departmental members and industry stakeholders gathered in Canberra on Wednesday 14 October, in celebration of Australian dairy’s innovative and dynamic value chain. Hosted by the Australian Dairy Industry Council (ADIC) the dinner centred on the theme of Australian Dairy, Thinking Beyond the Box.

An exciting opportunity for parliamentarians and industry to discuss the role innovation plays in helping the industry grow, the event saw key agricultural leaders including Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, the Hon. Barnaby Joyce and Shadow Minister for Agriculture, the Hon. Joel Fitzgibbon identify the importance of collaboration in achieving a more sustainably profitable future.

Minister Joyce said the Coalition Government shared the industry’s commitment to innovation as a way of improving dairy farmer productivity and profitability.

“Through our Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper, the Coalition Government is delivering a range of initiatives across a number of key areas to strengthen dairying in Australia such as boosting funding for R&D, biosecurity and water infrastructure, developing more innovative and collaborative business models for farmers and establishing an ACCC Commissioner for Agriculture.

“In addition to the White Paper measures, the conclusion of free trade deals with Korea, Japan and China, as well the recent Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement will help to significantly grow demand for Australian dairy products well into the future,” Minister Joyce said.
Mr Fitzgibbon commended the industry on working to progress the Dairy Industry Vision for 2025.

“Dairy is increasingly part of Australia’s economic future and it is great to join so many industry participants who share a vision for a more innovative, efficient, and sustainably profitable sector.”

With more than $2 billion dollars invested in farm science and technologies since 1980, innovation has always been pivotal to boosting dairy’s profitability and productivity.

ADIC Chair, Noel Campbell told guests that dairy is a dynamic and growing industry, one that more than ever needs to push boundaries.
“As an industry, dairy is working to ensure that the benefits of research, development and extension reach our whole value chain. For every dollar that our industry invests in R,D&E our farmers and processors see three dollars in returns,” Mr Campbell said.

“Increasingly volatile market conditions, where input costs continue to go up and capital for investment is limited mean encouraging uptake of innovative technologies is a challenge. Shared government and industry investment in R,D&E is critical to our success.”

Leaders in Australian dairy innovation, including CEO of the Dairy Futures CRC, Dr David Nation as well as dairy farmer and 2014 Nuffield Scholar, Aubrey Pellett provided guests with insight into key advancements in dairy technology and science.



Success relies on shared ownership

Aug 18, 2015

Speaking at the annual WAFarmers’ Dairy Conference on 28 July in Busselton, ADF Director, Simone Jolliffe discussed the importance of working collectively to achieve a more sustainable future.

“The extent to which dairy succeeds in its objectives will rely on shared leadership, with everyone in the industry recognising that their contribution adds to the end goal.

“Don’t underestimate the value of your involvement or the many ways in which you can demonstrate leadership. Attending farmer discussion group meetings is one way, being here and participating today is another,” Ms Jolliffe said.

With over 90 dairy farmers, processors and industry stakeholders gathered, the one-day conference was a fantastic opportunity for members and non-members to hear from their fellow dairy farmers.

As a first generation dairy farmer at her property in Wagga Wagga, NSW as well as Deputy Chair of Dairy NSW, Ms Jolliffe said there was a need for farmers to be proactively involved with those representing their interests.

“Farmer engagement with industry bodies responsible for setting priorities whether in advocacy or research programs is key to ensuring that our policy settings truly reflect industry needs. If everyone takes part in identifying, owning and finding solutions to our challenges, the resulting decisions made will inevitably be sounder.”

Speaking alongside Ms Jolliffe at the Conference was Victorian dairy farmer and horse trainer, Anne McGrath, who shared the emotional story of her family’s challenging journey after a young farm worker was killed on their property. Telling the conference of the legal action against her family which followed the tragedy, Ms McGrath reiterated the importance of getting farm safety right for all involved.

At the Dairy Council annual general meeting later that afternoon, President Phil Depiazzi, Senior Vice President Michael Partridge and Junior Vice President Paul Ieraci were re-elected unopposed to their respective positions.

Dairy consultant, John Mulvany chaired the processor panel involving representatives from Brownes, Parmalat (Harvey Fresh) and Lion who discussed opportunities for dairy to grow in future, as well as milk price challenges. The conference concluded with a wonderful gala dinner where a number of WA dairy farmers were recognised with Dairy Australia’s Milk Quality Awards.

For more information about the event, download your copy of the conference program here


WAFarmers’ Dairy Council’s Junior Vice President, Paul Ieraci with President, Phil Depaiazzi and Senior Vice President, Michael Partidge at the conference.


ADF Director, Simone Jolliffe speaking at the WAFarmers 2015 Dairy Conference.

 

Bipartisan support for water buybacks cap essential

Aug 18, 2015

The Australian Dairy Industry Council (ADIC) has reiterated its long-standing support of the 1500 gigalitre (GL) cap on buybacks in the Murray Darling Basin Plan (MDBP) with its submission to the 2015 Water Amendment Bill last month. The Bill, which will legislate the 1500GL cap as part of the 2750GL target under the Basin Plan, requires bipartisan support to deliver dairy farmers with much-needed certainty about future water availability to sustain their business.

The 1500GL cap provides dairy farmers in the Murray-Darling Basin with much-needed certainty about future water availability to sustain their business. At the same time, environmental water can continue to be recovered through water-saving infrastructure projects, which will benefit the environment, farmers and local communities more effectively than buybacks.

However, there were aspects of the Bill that the dairy industry did not support, in particular the fact that the 1500GL buybacks cap applies only to water recovered towards meeting the 2750GL target. Additionally, the failure to address long-standing limitations in the Water Act 2007 and the Basin Plan in achieving the socio-economic neutrality and triple bottom line outcomes promoted so often by decision-makers is a missed opportunity.

The ADIC’s key recommendations in the submission to the Bill were to:

  • Ensure that the 1500GL cap on buybacks includes the 450GL in the Water for the Environment Special Account
  • Clarify that the entitlement transfer to the Commonwealth relating to infrastructure and reconfiguration for state programs are excluded in the 1500GL cap on buy backs.
  • The Basin Plan socio-economic neutrality test should include collective impacts on irrigation districts, community and water market.
  • Amend the Basin Plan to ensure that the 2750GL target is achieved first before any water recovery is counted towards the 3200GL target, and that any water recovered under the Special Account first covers any shortfall to the 2750GL target.
  • Clarify that the 450GL “up water” is an up-to amount, not a minimum.
  • Enable environmental water trading where the proceeds can be reinvested in works and activities for environmental outcomes, and to cover the Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder’s storage and other costs.

Bipartisan support for the legislative change remains a key priority for the ADIC, with representatives meeting with both sides of parliament to ensure the importance of passing the 2015 Water Amendment Bill is heard and acknowledged across the board.

To see the ADIC’s submission to the 2015 Water Amendment Bill click here

 

 

Westpac farm innovation challenge

Aug 10, 2015

Applications are open for the ‘Westpac Innovation Challenge’, an opportunity for start-ups and agribusiness entrepreneurs to develop new ideas to revolutionise Australia’s agricultural sector. A $40,000 prize will be awarded to the entrepreneur that creates the most useful and digital solution for Australian agricultural producers and agribusiness. For more info, or to apply, please see here.

 

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