Dairy Plan partners progress commitment to industry reform
Opportunities to boost dairy farmer representation, increase transparency around research, development and extension (RD&E) priority setting and involve processing companies in industry wide initiatives are reform priorities being pursued by partner organisations of the Australian Dairy Plan.
These opportunities remain important following a decision to not proceed with a proposal to create a single, whole of industry body that combines advocacy with industry services, after many months of industry consultation.
Going forward the three reform partner 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 people across the industry.
Australian Dairy Farmers President Terry Richardson said: "Dairy organisational reform is an industry priority and is necessary to achieve a more profitable, confident and united industry and to fully realise the benefits offered by the Dairy Plan."
"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. It also works to strengthen advocacy and streamline execution of whole-of-industry strategic priorities."
Dairy Australia Chair James Mann said: "The proposal to create a single, whole of industry body was always considered to be ambitious. After extensive consultation, it is clear that restrictions prevent the use of levies for agri-political activity and that an all-in-one industry model is unable to address the priority of a stronger and more unified industry voice, as it cannot accommodate the requirement for independent representation. It would also compromise government investment in RD&E. Other models that combine advocacy with levy funded industry services cannot progress at this time for the same reasons."
Australian Dairy Products Federation President Grant Crothers said: "The reform process has identified a priority need for a ‘whole of industry’ voice that can represent common issues to both dairy 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."
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.
"I would like to acknowledge everyone involved in getting us to this point. The work undertaken by the Joint Transition Team to unite the industry and its services through a single industry body has been thoroughly tested and has significantly contributed to the vital process of industry reform. As we work through the next steps, there will be ample opportunity for further industry consultation," Mr Richardson commented.
Updates on the reform process will be included in half yearly progress updates on the implementation of the Australian Dairy Plan provided by the partner organisations.