Update on Australian Dairy Plan timings

 Dear Dairy Industry Stakeholders,

The COVID-19 pandemic is disrupting people’s lives and businesses worldwide. Our communities recognise the Australian dairy industry as an essential service and I trust that you, your families and staff are staying safe and are able to sustain your businesses in these challenging conditions.

I wanted to provide you with an update on activities related to the Australian Dairy Plan.

As you know, we released the draft Australian Dairy Plan in December last year. Since then we have received valuable feedback online and through face to face meetings and we are making steady progress finalising the plan. In late January, we released the final report of the JTT (Joint Transition Team) on industry structure and advocacy arrangements. Since its release there has been considerable feedback, discussion and debate as we work to further refine and shape the proposal for industry reform.

Despite the challenging environment created by COVID-19, we remain committed to the process of industry reform. Public engagement sessions are vital, but need to be delayed until current restrictions are lifted. An industry vote on these reforms will also need to be delayed for the same reason, but the objective is to hold a vote by the end of the year, subject to review and remaining mindful of current circumstances. This means that the reform process will be lengthened and we will continue to provide regular status updates as conditions change. I would like to reassure you that we will not be proceeding without the engagement and support of industry, and therefore no decisions on future industry structures will be made at this time. We are actively recruiting an Engagement and Design Team that will continue the discussions that are underway with dairy organisations and prepare for the public engagement sessions.

As I indicated above, the Australian Dairy Plan is nearly complete and some revisions are being made in response to feedback received. Due to the current focus of the dairy supply chain in managing COVID-19 impacts, the finalisation of the Dairy Plan will be slightly delayed. However we remain committed to delivering the plan in order to start rolling out some key initiatives from 1 July 2020, with preliminary work already underway in some areas. When COVID-19 passes and the world economy rebounds, we want the Australian dairy industry to be ready and equipped to take advantage of new market opportunities.

On behalf of the Australian Dairy Plan Committee I would like to thank all the organisations and individuals who have been involved in supporting the development of the plan to date.

Kind regards,

John Brumby AO
Independent Chair
Australian Dairy Plan Committee