Questions and Answers


The questions and answers below provide further information about the vision for the Australian Dairy Plan, including the industry wide consultation process.


What is the Australian Dairy Plan?

The Australian Dairy Plan will bring the whole Australian dairy industry together, establish a clear vision, purpose and strategy, and set a course for the next five years and beyond.

The development of the plan will involve a consultation program to seek the views of farmers and dairy communities across Australia to define priorities and help establish a national roadmap of how the industry will best navigate the immediate, medium and long-term future.

While the final document will not set detailed targets, it will be specific enough to rigorously and regularly measure performance against the agreed upon goals, to actively demonstrate progress.

Why do we need a whole-of-industry plan?

The Australian dairy industry has been challenged with rising costs of production, retail price stagnation, tough seasons and changing global markets. A plan that sets the agenda for the industry on a national scale, will provide further direction and a clear focus to help ensure dairy remains competitive and successful.

There are great examples of how a national plan that is widely adopted can transform an industry.

Recent examples include plans that have led to successful expansion of the Irish dairy industry and the Australian cotton industry, or helped guide industry leadership in times of unification, such as for the New Zealand dairy industry.

What’s the consultation process?

Each region and each stakeholder in the industry will have the opportunity to contribute to the Australian Dairy Plan and have their say through a broad engagement program, scheduled to commence in autumn 2019.

Farmers will be able to provide input through regional and state-based consultation across the country. At the same time, engagement and contribution from stakeholders such as processors, government and industry bodies will also be coordinated.

Everyone is encouraged to participate in the conversation and details of how you can get involved will be communicated early in 2019.

What are the timelines for developing the Australian Dairy Plan?

The Australian Dairy Plan will be built in 2019. It will include an extensive consultation program designed to rally the industry and from which the collective views will be taken to create a single document that sets out the future path for the industry.

Consultation events with farmers, processors and other industry stakeholders will take place across Australia in autumn 2019. Leading up to these, thought-provoking materials will be disseminated to help facilitate quality discussions about the future.

Who’s leading the development of the plan?

The Dairy Plan is supported and endorsed by the Australian Dairy Industry Council, Dairy Australia, Australian Dairy Farmers, Australian Dairy Products Federation, the Gardiner Foundation and Dairy Moving Forward.

However, the collective contribution of farmers and people connected with the industry to developing a national plan will be key to its success.

How will the Australian Dairy Plan be used?

One of the most powerful ways in which the Australian Dairy Plan will take effect is through the way it guides the development of key industry documents, such as the ADIC Vision, Dairy Australia’s Strategic Plan, the Gardiner Dairy Foundation Strategic Plan, the ADF Strategic Plan, the ADPF strategic direction and the Dairy Moving Forward Strategic Plan. Alignment of these documents with an overarching industry strategy, demonstrates unification and clarity of direction when engaging with government and other key stakeholders.

Is the Australian Dairy Plan aspirational or will it contain details for stakeholders across the industry?

The Australian Dairy Plan is both aspirational and detailed. The plan aspires to bring the whole industry together and establish a collective vision for the future. In order to achieve this and provide further direction for industry participants, it will set out clear objectives, including measurable goals, to plot the industry’s progress.

What will be the process for setting and prioritising goals in the Australian Dairy Plan?

The Australian Dairy Plan will give farmers, processors and the extended dairy industry, a chance to have their say in determining the priorities and opportunities for the Australian Dairy industry for the next five years and beyond.

A community-level engagement program with effective facilitation will help get the most out of the process, and feedback loops will be established to ensure participants can see the link between their contributions and the outcomes of the work.

Ultimately, the Australian Dairy Plan seeks to gather input and construct a vision around the principles of a strong, confident and united industry.

How does this plan align with the Australian Dairy Industry Sustainability Framework?

The Dairy Plan is an all-encompassing strategy and key industry initiatives, such as the Australian Dairy Industry Sustainability Framework, will be embedded within it. The intention of the Australian Dairy Plan is not to reinvent the wheel and the Sustainability Framework is a great example of how the industry as a whole is already addressing challenges in a changing world.

Once the plan is launched, how will progress be measured?

The plan will be specific enough to rigorously and regularly measure performance against the agreed upon goals, to actively demonstrate progress.

The Australian Dairy Plan will guide the development of key industry strategic documents. It is anticipated that performance indicators for the Australian Dairy Plan will be derived from these strategic documents and will be specific and measurable for the industry. The contribution by stakeholders to these performance measures will be clear, as will the path to achieving them and milestones along the way.

Are levy funds being used to develop the plan?

Funding will come from multiple sources to develop the Australian Dairy Plan. This includes levy funds from Dairy Australia, as well as financial input from ADF, ADPF, Gardiner Dairy Foundation and Dairy Moving Forward.

How much will the plan cost?

Final costs are yet to be determined. External resources will be engaged to ensure an independent and transparent consultation process and assist in aligning different stakeholders. Once we appoint this consultant we will have a much better indication of the total costs involved.

What will be the return on investment?

We believe an aligned industry strategy will deliver significant industry dividends as it has in New Zealand, Ireland and from the experiences of fellow RDCs in Australia that have completed a similar process, namely Cotton and Horticulture.