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. 

 

Proposed competition overhaul: What could it mean for dairy?

Apr 08, 2015

On 30 March, Australian Dairy Farmers (ADF) welcomed the release of the Competition Policy Review Panel’s final report as crucial to creating a healthier, more competitive and successful market place for consumers, food suppliers and retailers.

Also known as the Harper Review, the independent policy review’s stronger focus on balancing market power between supplier and retailers has been well received as acknowledgement of the significant input and recommendations ADF made on competition law and policy.

The Review is the first evaluation of Australia's competition policy in 22 years and recommends strengthening provisions for abuse of market power, as well as proposing changes to collective bargaining that will strengthen farmers’ negotiating power.

ADF President, Noel Campbell said the Review’s recommendation to re-introduce an Effects Test to measure the ‘purpose, effect or likely effect’ of retailer actions on suppliers was particularly positive.

“We support the Panel’s recommendations to increase the focus on dealing with the current imbalance of major retailer market power, through initiatives such as the Effects Test.

“Farmers need every opportunity to improve their negotiating power for profitability and returns at the farm-gate to be achieved,” Mr Campbell said.

Mr Campbell did however express disappointment that there was no meaningful consideration in the review of the role of a Mandatory Code of Conduct, or the need for a Supermarket Ombudsman “with teeth” to address the issue of potential misuse of market power.

“The unequal distribution of market power means that farmers are often backed into a corner when it comes to farm-gate prices. This is a disadvantage that is heightened due to logistical constraints in supplying perishable goods,” Mr Campbell explained.

Mr Campbell said ADF looked forward to the opportunity to respond to the Review’s recommendations to ensure that our nation’s competition legislation is robust and able to protect our dairy farmers going forward.

“ADF will also continue to advocate as legislative amendments are developed to prevent potentially damaging situations, such as retailer predatory pricing in future,” Mr Campbell said.

The Competition Policy Review is one of three significant developments to occur in 2015, alongside the announcement of the Competition and Consumer (Industry Codes – Food and Grocery) Regulation 2015 in March, and the Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper which is due for release later this year.

To view ADF’s submission to the Competition Policy Review,click here.

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