Reviews of supply contracts, pricing system underway

Jun 17, 2016

Dairy farmer representatives on the ADF Markets, Trade and Value Chain Policy Advisory Group (PAG) gathered in Melbourne this week to discuss a range of measures to establish a fairer, more transparent dairy market.

Simplifying supplier contracts and agreements featured heavily and methods to make them simpler and more transparent. Further to this the lack of transparency regarding milk pricing, and its ability to be retrospective is unacceptable and must be addressed.

The PAG also reviewed the methods to give clear, independent and credible market and price signals to dairy farmers and how this might be practically applied to the Australian dairy market.

Providing farmers with the right tools and resources to manage the opportunities and risks associated with a fluctuating dairy market was also a focus to help bolster the industry’s resilience in the long term.

Significantly, the meeting agreed upon the need to modernise the Australian industry’s pricing structures and contracts to recognise the complex operating environment that farmers face, to better balance financial risk along the supply chain. ADF is working with all state members, levels of Government and industry to achieve these endeavours.

ADF continues to press for the release of the full dairy support package as soon as possible and will update farmers as soon as this information is released.

We have had a couple of operational changes at ADF in recent weeks, with the resignation of ADF CEO Benjamin Stapley announced yesterday. The ADF Board has already taken steps to ensure that the role of CEO is well served in both the short and long term.

Contact has already been made with former ADF CEO John McQueen, now an industry consultant, to step into this important leadership role on an interim basis while the recruitment process is completed. Mr McQueen steps into the role as early as Monday morning and there will be a smooth, effective transition so no time is lost in fulfilling ADF’s mission to lobby for a stronger future for Australian dairy farmers.

These are unprecedented times and we need to ensure we have the right leadership balance to effectively address these issues, while not losing sight of other priorities important to building farmers long term sustainability.

The small team at ADF, remains committed to driving strong policy to transform the way our industry operates for the better.

Many farmers have been calling our offices in recent weeks seeking advice, assistance and information on what ADF is doing on their behalf. We encourage you to keep connecting with ADF to ensure we effectively represent your interests.

 

David Basham

Acting ADF President

Mr John Harlock appointed as ADHIS Chair

Dec 03, 2015

Australian Dairy Farmers (ADF) is pleased to announce the appointment of Victorian dairy farmer, Mr John Harlock as the incoming Chairman of the Australian Dairy Herd Improvement Scheme (ADHIS). ADHIS is the national dairy genetic evaluation organisation that provides Australian Breeding Values (ABVs) and other objective information about the genetic merit of dairy cattle. As an ADF initiative, ADHIS receives the majority of its funding Dairy Australia through the Dairy Service Levy.

John operates a 350 cow dairy farm near Warrnambool with his wife, Shirley. John has held positions on a number of dairy industry boards including the Warrnambool Cheese & Butter Company, Genetics Australia, Western Herd Improvement and Warrnambool Co-operative Society, has also served on the ADHIS Board for eight years. As a member and former branch president of the United Dairyfarmers of Victoria, Mr Harlock has a strong understanding of the broader dairy industry and the issues faced by farmers.

ADHIS CEO, Daniel Abernethy thanked outgoing chair, Mr Adrian Drury who has decided to step down to focus on the adoption of new technology in his dairy business on the north coast of New South Wales.

“Adrian has lead ADHIS through one of the most sustained periods of intense development in the organisation’s thirty year history,” Mr Abernethy said. “Under his leadership ADHIS has seen the successful implementation of genomics, the launch of the Good Bulls Guide, a world-first Feed Saved ABV and the complete review of the National Breeding Objective.”

“We thank Adrian for his service and wish him all the best in his future endeavours.”

For more information contact ADHIS via (03) 8621 4200 or www.adhis.com.au.

 

 

Voting for Levy Poll Process Now Open

Oct 30, 2015

Voting to change the levy poll process has now opened and it is time to have YOUR say. As the dairy industry’s peak policy and advocacy group Australian Dairy Farmers (ADF) is encouraging all dairy farmers to vote yes on their ballot papers, which were mailed last week to all dairy levy payers.

Voting yes means a Levy Poll would only be held when a change to the levy or its procedures is proposed. In short, no change, no Levy Poll.

After the last poll in 2012, the clear message from dairy farmers was that the efforts and funds dedicated towards the poll process could have been better spent delivering dollar value to dairy farmers. The change makes complete sense, saving at least $750 000 that will be redirected to industry programs.

Dairy farmers have made it clear in regional meetings across Australia that the industry should make the change. Now, we need to ensure that the Federal Government is confident that’s the view of levy payers by voting yes or no.

A yes vote will not remove Dairy Australia from scrutiny. Dairy Australia will still be required to undergo an independent performance review at least every five years, which will then inform an independent committee of industry representatives on whether or not a levy poll is required. If farmers believe a poll is necessary, there is a failsafe mechanism for a group of levy payers representing at least 15 per cent of levy votes to propose a poll.

The Dairy Levy Poll Process ballot can be completed by post, email, fax or online at www.computershare.com.au/dairylevy2015. Voting will remain open until midday (AEDT) Friday 27 November. For details on upcoming information sessions near you see www.dairylevypollreview.com.au

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.

 

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