Update on designing a new reform model

Dear Industry Stakeholder,

We are making progress consulting with state dairy farming organisations and other peak bodies and their members on the design of an improved industry structure – a priority commitment of the soon to be released Australian Dairy Plan.

This process is addressing the detail required to advance the high level recommendations contained in the Joint Transition Team’s report and the creation of a single, whole of industry national dairy organisation supporting industry services including policy, advocacy, research and development (R&D) and marketing. 

Creating unity is not an easy task – the complexity of our industry and ensuring the views of many are considered in defining a model of reform, will take time to work through. Background information on the reform process can be viewed here.

Australian Dairy Farmers, Australian Dairy Products Federation and Dairy Australia are leading this reform process on behalf of farmer levy payers and wider industry. Working groups including a cross-section of skilled industry representatives have been established to further support industry engagement in three key areas: processors involvement, governance and representation. You can read more about these working groups here.

Whilst every attempt is being made to consult widely, there is an acknowledgement that not every view will be satisfied throughout this process. However, we are confident that we have incorporated a significant amount of feedback and expectations in the design work that is underway. This has informed clear views that will be taken forward to the design of a new model:

  • Preservation of state-based advocacy is critical in representing state and regional priorities, and how this aligns with the national approach to advocacy. There is also an opportunity for greater alignment in Research, Development and Extension (RD&E) activities with policy work at a regional/state level – this would likely include the six state dairy offices, where policy works at a state level and RD&E supports appropriate boundaries.

  • Processors involvement and participation in a single industry body is being worked through, including a sustainable funding mechanism - with a mandated levy being one option (and how this would work and the quantum).

  • A skills-based Board is a pre-requisite for any organisation receiving significant support and funding from Government. Directors would be required to have skills and experience in both governance practices and dairy farming and processing.

Once the engagement and design process is concluded, the intention is that a single model will be proposed for a vote by industry. The objective of a single model vote is to determine that there is sufficient a clear industry position on support for the proposed organisational reform.

The timeline for the phases of the reform process is detailed below.


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 options 


Industry consultation on reform model options 


Industry vote on reform model and final outcome determined 


As the dairy reform process progresses you will receive regular updates and please don’t hesitate to contact us by email if you have any questions at contact@dairyreform.com.au.

Kind regards,

Terry Richardson
President of Australian Dairy Farmers and 
Chair of the Organisational Reform Steering Committee


*Organisational Reform Steering Committee comprises of two Directors from the following Dairy Plan partner organisations: Australian Dairy Farmers, Australian Dairy Products Federation and Dairy Australia.

All communications from this committee will be distributed to the subscriber database of this email. For questions or input contact the Organisational Reform Steering Committee contact@dairyreform.com.au.