Issue 3: Reform consultation takes shape

Dear Industry Stakeholder,

The opportunity to directly influence the design of a new organisational structure for dairy is still live and there are a number of ways to submit your views ahead of the consultation process to be led by our Engagement and Design Team.
To date, most of our feedback has addressed high level design principles, such as:

  • Developing a structure that is lean, efficient and agile and also financially sustainable long-term, with contributions from farmers and processors.
  • There appears general support for a whole-of-industry approach, so long as there is a mechanism to deal with farmer and processor issues separately as needed and an appropriate financial model that is explained to all.
  • Ensuring the restructure provides a stronger and clearer advocacy process at state and national level without compromising excellence in R&D.
  • Requiring a strong regional presence so that farmers and processors can have a convenient point of access to the organisation and services, with an understanding of regional needs.

The recently established Organisational Reform Steering Committee is focused on how these principles can be achieved in a way that delivers measurable benefit. We are committed to presenting real options for consideration, that will set the industry up for future success.

Formal consultation on a preferred industry structure/s and options will follow. The Steering Committee is currently working with the Engagement and Design Team on a document that builds on the work of the Joint Transition Team (JTT).

Prior to this being available, your feedback on a preferred industry structure is welcome by either:

(a) Writing to us at with your contribution and/or

(b) Working with any industry organisation that you are a member of and asking how your contribution can be considered and taken forward as an agreed position.

Some issues you might like to explore (and bearing in mind we don’t have the answers yet) are:

  • The most appropriate way for farmers and processors to work together on issues of mutual benefit while also being able to retain an independent voice when required.
  • Tell us how you think advocacy and R&D can come together effectively in your region.
  • How might all regions be represented fairly in national discussions and decision making given the different size of industry in each region.

We understand that some of our stakeholders are frustrated with the lengthy process to date and are saying ‘just get on with it’. The team from EY is preparing a detailed discussion document that sets out restructure options and the implications for each, for your review.

This document will, in the first instance, be presented to the national organisations, the six state dairy farm organisations and the eight Regional Development Programs.

We will seek an initial response from these groups before moving to the regions to ensure anyone who wants to engage with this process can.

We are currently restricted by COVID-19, but in the first instance we expect to offer industry to join an extended series of Zoom video conference meetings on a region by region basis, to consider the options and provide further feedback.

The outcomes from this process will inform how we move forward with presenting an option for you to vote on.

Given the nature of the proposed changes, it will be important that a significant portion of our industry is directly engaged with the process.

Kind regards,

Terry Richardson
Chair of the Organisational Reform Steering Committee


All communications from the Organisational Reform Committee (ORSC)  in relation to the reform process will be distributed by Electronic Direct Mail (EDM) to a subscriber database, that includes all persons who participated in the Australian Dairy Plan, plus anyone who chooses to subscribe via the website.