Have your say on the future of Australian dairy

Dairy industry leaders set up a nationwide consultation on the sector's future

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Dairy industry is at a crossroads, says ADF's Terry Richardson.

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Australian Dairy Farmers president Terry Richardson.

Australian Dairy Farmers president Terry Richardson.

Industry leaders are asking farmers, processors, service providers and others associated with the industry to have their say on what's needed to shape dairy's future.

A series of 20 meetngs will be held, throughout Australia, in May and June, while industry participants also have the opportunity to contribute through online platforms.

Australian Dairy Farmers president Terry Richardson said the consultations would bring together diverse segments of the industry, to have a say on the industry's future.

"There is no doubt that the dairy industry is at a crossroads with increased market volatility, the drought, and still recovering from the pressure placed on it from the price step downs of 2016," Mr Richardson said.

"Now's the time for the industry to be proactive and contribute to a national roadmap, drive new thinking, structures, programs and initiatives that have direct relevance to everyone in dairy."

He said the industry had a long and proud history of working together, successfully, through tough times.

It was critical the industry renewed its commitment to jointy tackle difficulties and opportunities.

The consultation aimed to support the development of the Australian Dairy Plan, identifying key industry priorities and delivering transformation and positive change for dairy over the next five years and beyond.

Dairy Australia, Australian Dairy Farmers, Australian Dairy Products Federation and the Gardiner Dairy Foundation had joined to create the opportunity for industry personnel to voice their thoughts, on what mattered most.

Dairy Australian chair Jeff Odgers said the whole of industry commitment was a significant part of gathering industry wisdom and creating a future, all could believe in.

"This is a defining moment for the future of Australian dairy and I believe by working closer together we can put in place a blueprint that is built on a greater understanding of the issues and will help guide everyone in the industry to a more positive future," Mr Odgers said.

"We are a very diverse industry which can be a strength, but it has worked against us at times in terms of being cohesive and focusing on what really matters at a national level."

The Gardiner Dairy Foundation's Dr Bruce Kefford said the consultation was a valuable opportunity for everyone in the industry to exchange views, ideas and aspirations, to better prioritise common challenges.

Australian Dairy Products Federation president, Burra Food's Grant Crothers said sustainable competitiveness was critical to industry success.

"The Australian Dairy Plan has the opportunity to identify and establish clear expectations on what is needed to remain sustainable, relevant and profitable," Mr Crothers said.

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