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 Dairy Plan partner organisations appointed a Joint Transition Team to consider options for industry reform. Its recommendations on reform of industry structures and advocacy arrangements were published in a report in January 2020. A proposal to create a single, whole of industry body combining advocacy and industry services subsequently underwent an extensive design and industry consultation process led by the Organisational Reform Steering Committee and it was decided not to proceed with this model.

The industry reform process is now being taken forward by the three reform partner organisations - Australian Dairy Farmers, Australian Dairy Products Federation and Dairy Australia - to drive through different aspects of the reform sought by people across the industry. This includes opportunities to boost dairy farmer representation, increase transparency around research, development and extension priority setting and involve processing companies in industry wide initiatives.

Next steps for industry reform:

  • Australian Dairy Farmers will 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, together with funding arrangements. Former Meat & Livestock Australia Managing Director David Palmer will continue to provide support in this area.
  • Dairy Australia will commit to greater resourcing for strategic policy development and enhanced transparency for RD&E priority setting.
  • Australian Dairy Products Federation will facilitate and promote opportunities for collaboration and co-investment by processors on whole of supply chain interests.

Dairy organisational reform remains an industry priority and is necessary to fully realise the benefits offered by the Australian Dairy Plan. It 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. It also works to strengthen advocacy and streamline execution of whole of industry strategic priorities.

The reform partner organisations remain committed to industry consultation once a viable alternative pathway to reform is prepared for consideration. Updates on the reform process will be included in half yearly progress updates on the implementation of the Australian Dairy Plan.