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.”

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.



Five new Ag Counsellors to help seize opportunity

Oct 12, 2015

The announcement of five new Agricultural Counsellors in overseas markets has been welcomed by the Australian Dairy Industry Council (ADIC) as a positive step toward addressing non-tariff barriers to trade.

The ADIC has been a strong advocate for increased resources toward overcoming technical barriers to trade in overseas markets and is pleased to see the Coalition Government’s acknowledgement of this issue.

A recent report commissioned by Dairy Australia, suggested that if the aggregated sum of all technical barriers to trade imposed by countries importing Australian product were reduced it could benefit global dairy trade by up to $1.57 billion. This amount includes the opportunity costs resulting from having technical barriers to trade in place as well as the potential gains from their removal.

ADIC Chair, Noel Campbell said the announcement of three new positions in Vietnam, Malaysia and the Middle East, as well as additional postings in Bangkok and China, would help the industry make the most of recent trade agreements as well as open up access to emerging markets.

“The appointment of these Counsellors will assist Australian dairy to promote its high quality, safe product in growth markets across South East Asia, the Middle East and of course China where there is growing interest in our products,” Mr Campbell said.

“It is also a further positive step toward addressing technical barriers to trade in international markets. The extent to which our industry is able to seize opportunities delivered through recently completed and pending trade agreements will depend upon addressing nontariff barriers. These Counsellors will help to improve the flow of Australian dairy products to international markets. It will also ensure that Australian dairy farmers can attain a fair price for their product.”

The ADIC continues to work with all overseas Counsellors, in conjunction with Government to promote Australian dairy overseas and ensure improved access to key export markets.

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

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