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

Shared leadership for a strong future

Mar 30, 2015
Speaking at the annual Tasmanian Dairy Conference on 26 March in Burnie, ADF President Noel Campbell discussed the importance of the industry working together - not in silos - to achieve a stronger voice and ultimately, a more sustainable future.

“The traditional view of leadership, where the buck stops with the person at the top does not work for our industry.

“The extent to which dairy succeeds in getting where it wants to will rely on the strength of this shared leadership,” Mr Campbell said.

The conference, in its eighth year, attracted over 200 dairy farmers, industry service providers, government and dairy organisation representatives to discuss a range of topics, including industry outlook, future developments, farm investment, and industry sustainability and innovation.

Mr Campbell, a third-generation dairy farmer at his 470-cow dairy farm in West Gippsland, Victoria, said there was a need for farmers to be proactive in the promotion of dairy past the farm-gate.

“The understanding about the relevance and importance of our industry has been and continues to be heard louder than ever before. And we all have a role to play in building on this momentum; to promote the value and good practices of our industry.

“You don’t have to be an outstanding public speaker or the most experienced statesman in the room to be a strong, effective leader. What you do need is vision, persistence and the courage to pursue your cause.

“Everyone in the dairy industry can show leadership to promote the industry... Farmers can invite people onto their farms and show them that, while we're not perfect, we're committed to good practices, and building a stronger, more prosperous industry.

“The more we do this, the more value the broader dairy community will see in supporting us,” Mr Campbell said.

Speaking alongside Mr Campbell at the conference included LEGENDAIRY Ambassador, Michael Klim, Dairy Futures CRC CEO, David Nation and Dairy Australia Managing Director, Ian Halliday. For more information about the event, download your copy of the conference program here.

 


Photo source: Meg Windram, The Advocate

Select Tags