Australian dairy industry welcomes ChAFTA entry into force

Dec 20, 2015

The Australian Dairy Industry Council (ADIC) has welcomed the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA) entry into force on 20 December 2015.

ADIC Chair, Simone Jolliffe said the dairy industry was extremely pleased that the historic agreement has been ratified before the end of the 2015 calendar year.

“The entire dairy value chain, led by the ADIC, has lobbied strongly for the implementation of ChAFTA and we are pleased to see its entry into force,” Mrs Jolliffe said.

“On 20 December, Australian dairy exporters experiences the first year’s tranche of tariff reductions. This will be followed by a second round of tariff cuts on 1 January 2016.”

“In the long term this will mean more jobs across the Australian dairy industry both on farm and in processing plants. It will provide our industry with the confidence it needs to invest for a strong future.”

The ADIC thanked the Minister for Trade and Investment, Andrew Robb, and his team of negotiators as well as the Australian government, industry and the broader dairy community for its ongoing support and for ensuring the deal will be ratified in the 2015 calendar year.


 

 

Have You Responded to the Regional Wellbeing Survey Yet?

Dec 09, 2015

Open until the 31 December, the 2015 Regional Wellbeing Survey forms an important piece of social research that farming organisations and government agencies draw on to understand farmers’ views and social impacts on a range of regional issues.

This year’s survey covers issues such as drought, water reform, green tape, CSG and mining, sustainable farming practices, markets, farm finance, and innovation. With more than 9000 respondents in 2014, the survey results to provide a sound statistical policy resource. 

For more information and to complete the online survey visit: http://www.regionalwellbeing.org.au


Shirley Harlock celebrated for contribution to industry

Nov 30, 2015

Victorian dairy farmer and advocate, Shirley Harlock has been recognised for her contribution to the Australian dairy industry, as the 2015 recipient of the Australian Dairy Industry Council’s (ADIC) Outstanding Service Award (OSA).

The OSA celebrates the lives and careers of industry participants whose contribution has significantly shaped the dairy community and beyond for the benefit of the whole value chain. The award was presented to Mrs Harlock at the ADIC’s annual Leaders Breakfast on 27 November 2015.

Outgoing ADIC Chair, Noel Campbell said Mrs Harlock continues to be a key player in shaping the policy landscape for Australian dairy.

“Shirley has a strong belief in advancing industry change through science and innovation. This has seen her advocate for the continued investment in research and development to industry, government and the broader community,” Mr Campbell said.

“For over four decades, she has been extensively involved with industry representation, helping to find practical, effective solutions to its challenges.”

Mrs Harlock has held local and executive positions with United Dairyfarmers of Victoria, and was a Director of Australian Dairy Farmers (ADF). She also served as Chair of Dairy Food Safety Victoria for ten years. In 2005, Mrs Harlock was appointed Chair of the Dairy Australia Future Dairy project, charged with research, development and adoption of robotic technology for Australian dairy farms.

In partnership with her husband John, Mrs Harlock continues to actively operate dairy farms in Warrnambool and support farms in South Australia.

Addressing a room filled with dairy leaders from across the whole value chain, Mrs Harlock took the opportunity to remind guests to ensure to be involved in finding shared solutions to the industry’s challenges.

“I live by the philosophy that, if you’re not involved, you’re part of the problem,” Mrs Harlock said. “I’m extremely proud to be a dairyfarmer. No industry could offer such reward, opportunity, support and encouragement – you just have to be prepared to avail yourself of it and be involved.”

ADIC Deputy Chair, Robert Poole and Outgoing ADIC Chair, Noel Campebll with 2015 OSA Winner, Shirley Harlock and her husband John. 

 

Climate variability drives on farm innovation

Nov 23, 2015

A concerted effort to reduce power costs and dairy’s environmental footprint is seeing increasing numbers of Australian producers implement more efficient, ‘green’ on farm practices.

In Athlone, Gippsland former mechanical engineer and seventh generation dairy farmer, Lindsay Anderson is harnessing solar energy to the benefit of reduced on-farm costs. Converting all his large single-phase motors to three-phase motors using variable speed drives as phase converters, Mr Anderson has implemented renewable technology throughout his business. He devised a 5 kilo-watt grid-connected solar system which supplies power to his automatic milking system, his workshop and farm house.

This system provides enough power to feedback through the grid for a payment each quarter – providing some additional income for Mr Anderson.

“This system can save me between 15 to 33% of electricity consumption,” Mr Anderson said. 

It also means there is even less diesel used on the property so the environment will also be better off.

According to dairy’s 2014 Sustainability Framework Progress Report, Mr Anderson is one of many dairy farmers adopting energy efficient procedures on farm. Since 2012 40% of farms have installed some form of renewable energy installation.

Chair of the Sustainability Framework Steering Committee, Chris Griffin said that dairy producers have always been stewards of the land, and are constantly getting smarter about energy efficiency on farm.

“Dairy farmers have a real commitment to managing land and water responsibly, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and protecting natural resources for future generations. They are constantly reviewing their practices in response to seasonal conditions and a changing climate,” said Mr Griffin.

“As a bonus, many farmers are finding that these measures are cost effective.”

Working with Australian Dairy Farmers (ADF) and Dairy Australia, the ADIC has lobbied hard to secure Government funding to support uptake of energy efficient technology on farm. Combined with industry investment, Federal and state programs have assisted farmers and manufacturers with the upfront capital costs in energy efficient or renewable energy technology, and therefore increased uptake.

The dairy industry has seen the benefit of such co-funded initiatives through Dairy Australia and the Federal Government’s Energy Efficiency Information Program. These nationwide assessments have already helped 1,400 farms. Guidelines have also been developed to complement these assessments and provide information about where energy is used in dairies, as well as identify where greater efficiency can be found.

In two years since the Sustainability Framework was implemented, manufacturers’ use of fuel and electricity has reduced by 14.5%. Together, the whole value chain is vigorously pursuing its target of reducing the intensity of greenhouse gas emissions by 30% by 2020.

“We will continue with programs and projects that are guiding the industry toward improved returns, while minimising our environmental footprint and improving the wellbeing of our people and animals,” Mr Griffin explained.

“There is still work to be done, but we are most definitely headed in the right direction.”

Earlier this year, ADF shifted its climate change policy, calling for joint industry and government investment in adopting energy efficient technologies on farm. Chair of the ADF Natural Resources Policy Advisory Group, Daryl Hoey said the revised policy highlights to Parliament, consumers and the broader community that the industry remains actively engaged in reducing its environmental impact.

“The scientific evidence, international policy, and public interest in increased climate variability justify industry action. Our whole value chain strives to continually reduce its environmental footprint, through uptake of new technologies, improved management and adoption of farming systems to suit climate variability,”

“The Australian Government can promote the industry’s effective response to climate variability through sustained investment in agriculture R, D&E and the uptake of energy efficient technologies on farm.”

This includes new solutions that both reduce emissions and improve profitability, international research collaboration, and methodologies that support a whole-farm-systems approach in reducing emissions.

“The Australian dairy industry is keenly observing the Government’s response to the United Nation’s Climate Change Conference taking place in Paris this December,” Mr Hoey said.

“We are aware the outcomes of this event may impact the Australian Government’s approach to emissions reduction policy. We want to ensure any policy initiatives do not undermine our trade exposed industry, but instead support dairy farmers’ ability to manage risk, innovate and adapt to climate variability.”

For more information on ADF's policy on carbon emissions and climate change click here

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