Progress Against Plan

The Australian Dairy Plan 2020-2025 has five key commitments. Progress against these commitments for the period 2022-2023 is outlined below.  

The commitments specifically reference structural reform, people, marketing, business skills and trust and we can report progress in each of these areas.

  • Commitment 1

    We will reform industry structures to create a more cohesive dairy industry and strengthen our influence with key stakeholders.

     Refined measure*

    Progress commentary against refined measure

    Procedural and governance changes to existing structures that will deliver stronger leadership.

    2023 progress includes;

    • Strategic review of ADF has commenced.
    • ADF and Dairy Australia have a new MoU, with expanded arrangements for consultation and policy support.
    • Continued work towards achieving a well-functioning ADIC.
    • Dairy Australia is actively working with Regional Development Programs on strengthening effectiveness.

    *The original measure to create a new industry organisation was resolved infeasible and the measure discontinued.

  • Commitment 2

    We will attract and support new people and investment to build our industry.


      Progress commentary against measures

    By 2025, all sections of the industry will have access to the people they require to meet their operating needs and who are trained in the skills required for their roles.

    • The Dairy Manufacturers Workforce Project is well advanced with Phase 2 being to develop a strategy that will focus on workforce capability and improving the provision of training services for the Australian dairy processing industry. This was as a result of Phase 1 of the Project, which produced an evidence-based report detailing the current employment situation and issues within the Australian dairy processing sector and five key recommended actions across: capability; access to skilled labour; employment terms and conditions; investment opportunities; and access to capital investment.

    • To date, the outputs of this project have been able to feed into the Federal governments Agriculture Workforce working group and pending Employment White Paper.

    • Dairy – along with other Agricultural industry leaders – attended the Agriculture Education Forum, committing to working together to drive 'food and fibre' education in Australian primary and secondary schools – to develop our future Ag leaders. A working group has been set up to develop a strategic roadmap, with dairy looking forward to contributing to the process.

    • Attracted people to work on dairy farms through the Dairy Jobs Matter marketing campaign. The campaign improved awareness and perceptions of working on a dairy farm, with 64 per cent of those who recognised the campaign taking action as a result. More than 438,000 people visited off the back of the campaign.

    • Highlighted opportunities to work in dairy and improved connectivity between dairy farm employers and jobseekers with the launch of an online dairy farm jobs board. Farmers can list vacancies on the jobs board while continuing to advertise on Facebook, Gumtree or SEEK, and via their local networks and channels.

    • Attracted school children to explore a career in dairy through a partnership with The Careers Department that reached 17,287 secondary school students. Attended careers expos and engaged with schools in regional areas.

    • Supported the skill development of 35 undergraduate students from the University of Sydney who completed work integrated learning field projects with dairy farm businesses, and industry partners. The students participated in activities including the Australian Dairy Conference, Dairy Australia extension, and an international study tour to Ireland.

    • Delivered opportunities for farmers and their employees to assess their current skills and knowledge, and identify new learning opportunities to support their career progression, through a new skills capability self-assessment tool.

    • Assisted farmers and the industry with their workforce needs through continued development of short and longer-term workforce attraction and retention initiatives.

    • Enhanced the learning experience and overcame barriers to delivering artificial insemination training. This new and innovative training course was developed in partnership with three registered training organisations and La Trobe University and uses simulation education. The course aligns to best practice animal health and welfare protocol and provides the most advanced simulation learning experiences to date for developing a highly capable dairy workforce.

     By 2025, there will be clear pathways to farm ownership, supported by innovative capital access models, tailored for the dairy industry.

    • Not progressed further in any significant manner of this reporting period. 

     By 2023, dairy will be understood and seen as a competitive asset class by a range of investors in regard to profitability and risk. 

    • An economic analysis of Australian dairy farm productivity performance has been completed. The findings provide insight into strategies that will optimise dairy productivity and contribute to the investor perspective on dairy profitability and risk.

  • Commitment 3

    We will increase our effort in marketing and promotion to build greater levels of trust and improve the value of dairy.


      Progress commentary against measures

    By 2025, there will be greater recognition of the value of dairy in terms of quality and health and nutrition benefits.

    • Demonstrated trust through transparency, by providing answers to community questions through the You Ask, We Answer online platform. The tool was used by 462,622 people, with questions on dairy and lactose, weight gain, sugar and calcium being the most viewed.

    • Launched virtual reality farm tours to educate school children on the process of dairy farming. The experience takes students through the process of making dairy foods, from the paddock and milking shed to the factory, without leaving their classroom.

    • Engaged with 100,000 educators and 500,000 children through the Discover Dairy website providing access to curriculum-linked lesson plans and activities on the Australian dairy industry and our products.

    • Demonstrated the industry’s commitment to sustainability at the annual Australian Dairy Sustainability Framework Summit. The event was attended by 110 stakeholders who explored the trends shaping the future for sustainable food and how the dairy value chain can respond.

    • Reinforced the robustness of the industry sustainability commitment by initiating a review of the Australian Dairy Sustainability Framework goals, targets, and indicators. This saw an increase in industry people wanting to be involved with the framework steering committee.

    • Engaged farmer ambassadors to promote the industry by increasing the number of ambassadors from 50 to 75. Ambassadors participated in 327 opportunities to promote the industry including media interviews, school and community presentations, careers events and articles telling their stories.

    • As negotiations on the Australia-European Union Free Trade Agreement continue, a public awareness campaign was launched in early 2023 to highlight the damage a new Geographic Indications (GIs) regime would have on Australia’s dairy industry. It spoke to Australia’s rich cheese making heritage and consequences on regional economies and our manufacturing footprint. When trade negotiations failed to reach an agreement in July, the industry - with one voice - commended the government on not making a deal for the sake of a deal.

    • Published research from the Dairy Australia-led Fractures Trial in scientific journals providing evidence that Australia's health system could save an estimated $66 million a year if aged care residents increased their dairy intake.

    • Informed the upcoming Australian Dietary Guideline review. Position papers were developed demonstrating milk and dairy as a nutritious powerhouse, dairy's role in a plant-based dietary pattern, and the role dairy plays in multicultural Australia.

    • Engaged dietitians and general practitioners through conferences, webinars, seminars, and media channels to share the latest science on dairy’s role in a healthy diet. As a result, 87 per cent of consumers are hearing positive health messages about dairy foods from health professionals.

    • Educated peak bodies, government ministers, aged care facilities and catering companies about the Fractures Trial research findings and the importance of improving nutritional standards and health outcomes in aged care by increasing dairy in the menu.

    • Provided tools, including an aged care catering guide, meal planners and case studies to assist aged care settings to increase dairy foods in their menu.

    • Encouraged increased dairy intake in older age through the annual Healthy Bones Action Week campaign. A group of active seniors, the ‘Dairy-Atrics’ were enlisted to share the important role dairy plays in helping them stay active, resulting in 318 media hits reaching 3.16 million Australians.

    • Promoted the health and nutrition benefits of dairy foods through the eight-week Picasso Cows program in 97 schools and community groups, with 90 per cent of teachers agreeing their students have a better understanding of the benefits of dairy.




     By 2025, there will be stronger support for Australian dairy and a preference to consumer Australian.

     By 2025, there will be stronger trust and acceptance in the health credentials of dairy, the way dairy is produced and the industry’s commitment to the environment and animal care

  • Commitment 4

    We will intensify the focus on farm business skills to improve profitability and better manage risk.


      Progress commentary against measures

    By 2025, dairy farmers will report they are more confident in their business skills and are making more effective, data-driven decision to improve farm performance and manage risk and volatility than they were previously (Target 80%)

    • More than 960 farmers in total participating in Our Farm, Our Plan (OFOP) nationally since the launch of piloting in 2019.
    • Delivered farm business planning initiatives to 272 farmers through Our Farm, Our Plan and secured $3.8 million in total external funding for delivery since the program commenced. This included funding from the Future Drought Fund – Farm Business Resilience Program.


    By 2025, all dairy farm businesses will have a documented long-term plan and review their progress, at least annually.

    By 2025, at least 75% of dairy farmers will be utilising financial risk management tools and products.

  • Commitment 5

    We will restore trust and transparency between farmers and processors to strengthen industry confidence.


      Progress commentary against measures

    The Milk Value Portal will be is a central and credible reference point on farmgate milk price, with increased site visits improving users’ understanding of the value of raw milk across Australia, at different times of the year.

    • Milk price education workshops were designed and delivered to all three Victorian regions, attracting 130 participants, and a new series will be rolled out across other states in FY24. This included a module on the Milk Value Portal (MVP), which continues to provide users with deeper insights into the domestic and global factors that influence the value of milk across Australia, at different times of the year. New seasons farmgate milk pricing data and contract terms were available within the first two weeks of June.

    • The MVP continues to grow as ‘one source of the truth’ on farmgate milk price across the eight production regions in Australia. The site recorded 15,229 visits in in 2022-23 – a 36% increase on the previous 12 months.

    • There has been useful collaboration between industry partners, under the ADIC banner on a raft of key industry issues, including submissions to the Senate Standing Committees on Environment and Communications Inquiry into Greenwashing, the DCCEEW Consultation Delivering the Murray Darling Basin Plan, and the Simplified Trade System Consultation Paper.


    By the end of 2022, the first 300 users will download and/or use the business calculators via Dairybase and 75% of users will agree the calculator improved their understanding of and supported business decision making. 

     By 2025, there will be 100% increase in the understanding and level of confidence of the market dynamics across the whole value chain, including the key drivers of farmgate milk price and the impact of their relative movement (baseline measured to be determined at end of 2020)


  • Progress against these commitments for the period 2021-2022PDF179.07 KB