Dairy reform next steps revealed

Australian Dairy Plan next steps outlined

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REFORM PRIORITY: Australian Dairy Farmers president Terry Richardson says dairy organisation reform remains a priority.

REFORM PRIORITY: Australian Dairy Farmers president Terry Richardson says dairy organisation reform remains a priority.

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Dairy reform remains a priority, despite decision not to set up a single body.

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Partner organisations of the Australian Dairy Plan have outlined the next steps in the reform of the sector.

They follow a decision to not proceed with a proposal to create a single, whole-of-industry body that combined advocacy with industry services.

Australian Dairy Farmers president Terry Richardson said dairy organisation reform remained a priority and was neccessary to achieve a more profitable, confident and united industry.

"Reform aims to deliver a stronger and more unified industry voice with an ability to champion common issues, as well as represent diverse views across the dairy supply chain," Mr Richardson said.

"It also works to strengthen advocacy and streamline execution of whole-of-industry strategic priorities."

The reform partners have identified opportunities to boost dairy farmer representation, increase transparency around research, development and extension priority setting and involve processing companies in industry wide initiatives.

The three organisations - Australian Dairy Farmers, Australian Dairy Products Federation and Dairy Australia - have been given primary responsibility for driving through different aspects of the reform, sought by industry participants.

DA chair James Mann said the proposal to create a single, whole-of-industry body was always considerd to be ambitious.

After extensive consultation, it was clear that restrictions prevented the use of levies for agri-political activity and that an all-in-one industry model was unable to address the priority of a stronger and more unified industry voice.

It could not accommodate the requirement for independent representation.

It would also compromise government investment in RD&E.

Other models that combined advocacy with levy funded industry services could not progress at this time for the same reasons."

ADFA president Grant Crothers said, however, the reform process had identified a priority need for a 'whole of industry' voice that could represent common issues to both farmers and processors.

"The revival of an appropriately resourced and well-funded Australian Dairy Industry Council would be an interim measure ahead of any other proposal," Mr Crothers said.

ADF would now lead a working group, comprising the six state dairy farming organisations, to consider how to optimise policy and advocacy development at a national and state level.

It would also look at funding arrangements.

Former Meat & Livestock Australia Managing Director David Palmer will continue to provide support in this area.

DA will commit to greater resourcing for strategic policy development and enhanced transparency for RD&E priority setting.

And the ADFA will facilitate and promote opportunities for collaboration and co-investment by processors on whole of supply chain interests.

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