Dairy meetings reveal mood for change

Dairy Plan meetings around Australia have revealed a strong mood for change


DISCUSSION: Dairy Plan meetings were held throughout Australia in May and June, including at Leongatha, Vic.

DISCUSSION: Dairy Plan meetings were held throughout Australia in May and June, including at Leongatha, Vic.

Aa

Dairy Plan meetings held around Australia have revealed a strong mood for change among Australia's dairy farmers.

Aa

Dairy Plan meetings held around Australia have revealed a strong mood for change among Australia's dairy farmers.

Meetings held in 28 locations, covering all Australian dairy production regions, identified the major concerns.

An analysis of the results reveals that most people at the meetings saw the need for major change in the industry.

Click through our slide show analysing the major outcomes from each meeting:

The average across all meetings of those rating the need for change at 5 on a 1-5 scale (massive change) was 47 per cent.

The average at 4 (major change) was 33pc.

But the mood for change varied across the country.

The mood was strong in Australia's most rapidly declining region - the subtropical region of Queensland and northern NSW.

The average rating for massive change was 70pc in that region, while a further 20pc wanted major change.

But in Australia's fastest growing dairy region, Tasmania, only 26pc of respondents wanted massive change and 28pc wanted major change.

Generally the mood for change increased the further north, although Western Victoria bucked that trend, sitting third on the list of regions seeking massive change (behind the subtropical region and NSW).

Major issues

An analysis of the top three issues from each of the meetings identified some major themes.

Advocacy and industry structure featured in the top three issues at 19 of the meetings.

There was a clear concern around the need for unity, particularly in talking with governments.

Some meetings also wanted the structure of the different industry bodies to be changed.

The farmgate milk price was also a major concern.

Issues identified included getting more profitability into the industry and establishing a clearer link between input costs and the price paid to farmers.

Another theme to emerge was around better promotion of the industry and dairy products to consumers and the broader urban community.

Supply chain transparency was also a theme at several meetings - and tied back to the farmgate price.

Another related issue was the power of the supermarket and establishing a better price at the retail level.

This was a big issue in the regions that predominantly supply the domestic market - Queensland, NSW, central South Australia and Western Australia.

Improving ways of getting young people into the industry also featured at a number of meetings - and was a strong theme in Tasmania, where the industry continues to grow.

Farm business management skills were also identified as a top three issue in several regions.

Not surprisingly, water was the big issue in the irrigated dairy regions in northern Victoria and southern NSW.

Farmers can still contribute to the discussion at website https://www.dairyplan.com.au/.

The next stage of the plan is a meeting in Melbourne with industry representatives, including farmers.

Related reading:

This story first appeared on Australian Dairyfarmer

Aa

From the front page

Sponsored by