Leading organisational reform

The Australian Dairy Plan identified five key commitments to deliver increased industry profitability, confidence and unity. At the top of the list was reform of industry organisations and the commitment states: We will reform industry structures to create a more cohesive dairy industry and strengthen our influence with key stakeholders. The task of reforming industry structures is the most complex of the Dairy Plan commitments.

The process commenced with the appointment of a group of dairy farmers (called the Joint Transition Team or JTT) to explore reform options. Their recommended model was the creation of a single, whole of industry national dairy organisation supporting industry services including policy, advocacy, research and development (R&D) and marketing.

While this model presented a solid foundation from which to build a new structure, there were several challenges subsequently identified through feedback and consultation. It was clear that further exploration, consultation and consideration around design of a new model was required, particularly in the areas of governance, advocacy and funding.

Given the complexities of dairy organisational reform and the need to consider broad views of stakeholders across the supply chain, an Organisational Reform Steering Committee was formed to oversee this in a coordinated and structured way. This committee comprises two Directors from three of the Dairy Plan partner organisations (Australian Dairy Farmers, Australian Dairy Products Federation and Dairy Australia).

An Engagement and Design Team comprising Ernst & Young and former Meat & Livestock Australia Managing Director David Palmer are leading the consultation and design effort through a phased approach. The intention is for a new model to be determined in 2021 prior to an industry vote.

Industry partners are now working towards organisational reform that will:

  • Deliver a stronger and unified industry voice with an ability to represent diverse views through the supply chain.
  • Ensure streamlined execution of whole-of-industry strategic priorities.
  • Create a single point of contact for all industry services including advocacy, R&D and marketing.
  • Deliver stronger industry funding with co-investment through a levy contribution by the whole of supply chain including farmers and processors.
  • Drive greater reach and impact in marketing, health and nutrition work on behalf of the industry, trade and market access, commitment to sustainability.
  • Ensure regional interests directly shape industry policy and advocacy.


Organisational Reform Phases



Exploring reform (work of the Joint Transition Team)



Establishing the pathway to reform



Industry and government engagement on reform challenges


Design of reform operating model option


Industry consultation on reform model option



Industry vote on reform model and final outcome determined