What the TPP means for dairy

Oct 20, 2015

The 12 nations involved in negotiating the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) free trade agreement concluded negotiations in Atlanta on Tuesday 6 October 2015, delivering modest but important gains for the Australian dairy industry.


As the whole of value chain representative body, the Australian Dairy Industry Council (ADIC) acknowledged the conclusion of the agreement as a good result for Australian dairy farmers.

ADIC Chair, Noel Campbell said that the deal, in conjunction with the recently concluded China-Australia free trade agreement, would give farmers the confidence that if they are going to grow their businesses there are markets to match their growth.

“As an industry our future growth will be on the export market, as domestic growth has matured. The TPP provides improved access to markets such as Japan, where demand for our high quality, safe product is expected to increase in coming years,” Mr Campbell said.

“The industry is currently examining the agreement in its entirety to assess what the full extent of the benefits will be for Australian dairy. Early analysis indicates however that the TPP will enable more Australian cheese to be exported to Japan tariff-free. We’ve also got greater access for butter and skim milk powder than ever before.”

Mr Campbell said the industry appreciated the dedication of the Minister for Trade and Investment, the Hon. Andrew Robb MP and his team of negotiators, in continuing to seek trade agreements that benefit the Australian economy.

“On behalf of the Australian dairy industry I would like to extend my thanks to Minister Robb and the Australian negotiators for maintaining strong communication with industry throughout the TPP negotiations. They have done their utmost to balance the competing interest of industry and government across the 12 nations involved throughout a challenging process,” Mr Campbell said.

“The conclusion of the TPP continues a historic period of increased trade liberalisation over the past few years. The ADIC looks forward to reviewing the agreement in its entirety to fully quantify the benefits for dairy.”

August President's Message

Aug 18, 2015

The Australian dairy industry has historically managed price volatility, global supply and demand issues and the fluctuations of the Australian dollar to good effect, maintaining international competitiveness, innovation and resilience to market volatility.

While we’re in volatile times, there is a lot more to be factored into the market in the next few months. Rather than panic, we need to ensure we are prepared for the short term difficulties facing us and remember that the long-term outlook for dairy is positive, despite current market volatility.

 

Industry needs to work to its strengths as a cost-efficient milk producer of quality dairy products in order to face the expected challenges. Within the industry there are considerable resources and work being applied to help dairy farmers confront the volatility challenge. Australian Dairy Farmers (ADF) is working in partnership across the industry and with government to undertake work and analysis to support Australian dairy farmers in their decision making.

It is reasonable to ask why up until now the Australian dairy industry has not been affected to the same degree as New Zealand. Unlike New Zealand Australia has more the 50 percent of its production consumed domestically. This provides a dampening effect on the downward trend of international markets on farm gate pricing. Our product mix has also allowed for the pricing trends to be less severe. However, there is no doubt that this international pricing impact is placing downward pressure on expected farm gate pricing that was not even seen two to three months ago.

Those farmers who supply processors that are uncontracted and exposed to world export pricing should treat the 2015/16 season with a significant amount of caution, understanding their underlying costs and being aware of input costs which will affect profitability.

Whether you’re a farmer, state organisation or peak body, we are all striving for the same outcome – a healthy and sustainable dairy industry. Industry projects such as the Sustainability Framework and the Australian Dairy Vision help provide a strategy for ADF’s efforts. On this note, it is with great pleasure that I welcome Benjamin Stapley as incoming Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of ADF. With a strong background in member advocacy, stakeholder engagement, policy development and media management, Mr Stapley comes into the role after two years as Director of Policy and Regulation at the Plastics and Chemicals Industries Association (PACIA).

I look forward to the fresh perspective and expertise that Ben brings to the role and along with my fellow Directors, National Council and staff look forward to working with him to continually improve the sustainability and profitability of farmers across all dairying regions. I hope you will all join me in welcoming Ben to our dynamic industry when he commences as CEO on 1 September 2015.  

Noel Campbell

ADF President

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.

 

Dairy’s Big Day Out in Western Vic

Aug 13, 2015

The Western Victorian district dairy industry is set to be pumped full of inspiration at an event focussed on positivity and capacity building this September.

The inaugural Dairy Inspire, held in conjunction with the Milk-it-for-More workshops and Profitable Feeding Systems Expo, has been dubbed ‘Dairy’s big day out’ and looks at filling the attending farmers and industry leaders with inspiring stories focussed on resilience, positivity, successful goal building and strategy, market growth and essential communication tools.

Sponsored by the Gardiner Dairy Foundation and WestVic Dairy, the ‘big day out’ is aimed at giving farmers the tools to increase personal capacity and on-farm profitability.

WestVic Dairy Executive Officer Paula Doran said the event on September 2 was firming up to be a significant event on the dairy calendar.

“It’s a mixed bag full of insights to build the skills of our farmers into the future with the over-arching theme of how to make the most of the opportunities we have before us,” Ms Doran said.

Analyst Michael Harvey from Rabobank will speak about short term commodity insights and futurist Paul Higgins will talk about future trends for the coming decades and beyond.

Tanami cowboy Rob Cook will talk about his near-fatal chopper crash on his remote Alice Springs property, and his journey back to life-on-the-land as a tetraplegic, and the resilience and fighting spirit that got him there.

Ms Doran said the day celebrated the dairy industry and the drive for growth, culminating in a dinner in Camperdown that day.

For more information contact the WestVic Dairy office on (03) 5557 1000. Get your tickets here.



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