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Setting the Foundations for Long Term Solutions

Earlier this week, ADF spoke at the Senate Economics References Committee inquiry
into Australia’s dairy industry.

We discussed a number of key historical points and highlighted long term solutions we believe will relieve some of the pressures faced by our dairy farmers.

Through consultation with our state member organisations, we proposed a number of solutions:

– The development of the Code of Best Practice on milk supply contractual agreements to ensure transparency and fairness in milk price arrangements

– To ensure that the ACCC review identifies and investigates sharing risk along the supply chain, supply agreements and contracts, competition, bargaining
and trading practices in the industry and the effect of world retail prices on profitability

– Incorporating an effects test to show the impact of anti-competitive behaviour

– The implementation of a world dairy commodity pricing index and educational program for farmers to better understand the impacts of the world market
price and impact on the domestic market

We reiterated the fact that although the dairy industry has gone through a difficult time, we are a resilient industry with a long, sustainable future
ahead and our profitability depends greatly on the continued support of the Australian public.

Which takes me to my last point. The proposed 50 cent milk levy.

Yesterday evening I took part in an extended interview with a major TV network. On several occasions I stated that ADF did not support a levy being applied
to drinking milk (50 cents or otherwise).

The 20 cent quote came from a completely different part of the interview (which was not aired) yet edited in a way that was out of context with the questioning.
I said, it would be good if Coles were to increase the price of $1 milk by at least 20 cents.

Media does not always represent the facts and important messages can get lost in the push for ratings and dramatic intrigue.

We have contacted Channel 7 News to clarify that the impact of its editing together two different part-answers to two different questions has effectively
contributed to misleading Australian consumers.

It is unfortunate when these things happen. Incorrect information leads to confusion in a time when we need open and transparent messaging. Our priorities
have always been to work to strengthen the dairy industry’s foundations so we can achieve long term stability.

To get through this difficult period the industry needs strong leaders with one voice.

ADF together with our state member organisations believe a united vision is the key to achieving positive outcomes going forward.

David Basham

Acting ADF President

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Keeping our dairy farmers competitive

Competition laws are about to change. Australian Dairy Farmers (ADF) has lobbied
hard for these changes and worked with many different organisations to represent the needs of farmers.

Since January 2011, Coles and Woolworths have continued to cause unnecessary worry for farmers by devaluing products in the supply chain. Milk was the
first weapon of choice in their discount war as it was a household staple and something that consumers were emotionally attached to.

However, milk is not the only dairy product that has been devalued in the price war. Other Australian staples such as cheese, yogurt and butter have also
seen a significant price drop that further provokes an already besieged industry.

After almost six years of unsustainable pricing, consumption of dairy in Australia has dropped. Data collected by Dairy Australia clearly shows that cheap
dairy has failed to deliver on the major supermarkets claim that lower prices will increase consumption. Their marketing strategy has resulted in millions
of dollars being taken out of the value chain, which has impacted severely on many dairy farmers.

The battle for the hearts and dollars of Australian consumers has distressed the dairy industry, threatened small shopkeepers and prompted a Senate inquiry.

In mid-March, the federal Senate launched an investigation into dairy pricing and whether Australia’s supermarket giants engaged in anti-competitive practices.

ADF was at the forefront on advocacy and policy demanding change in an industry that caused unnecessary financial pain and worry for farmers through the
devaluing of dairy as a product.

The senate inquiry resulted in the Australian Government issuing a draft amendment to the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 outlining a number of changes
ADF has been pushing for.

Most significantly, the draft Bill enables the introduction of an ‘Effects Test’ into Australian competition law. The effects test is a logical tool in
the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s (ACCC) kit bag that most other developed countries in the world have.

ADF has long-advocated for change to tackle big business misusing its power and reducing competition in markets. There is no silver bullet to fix the imbalance
of market power that dairy farmers experience, however ADF, together with our state members, are continuing to fight for farmers.

Even though this is an ongoing issue, we are still pushing for the major supermarkets to raise the price of dairy to a sustainable level. This will ensure
a fair price for everyone along the supply chain.

David Basham

Acting ADF President

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It is a win win situation

Collaboration is the key to get us where we need to be. Our industry relies
on all the elements to operate effectively. Farmers need processors and vice versa – so the solutions require all of us to come together to ensure
a positive future. It is a win win situation.

It is one thing to constantly pick apart the industry to highlight the problems, it is another to actually work together to bring about real solutions
to ensure this never happens again.

Last week the Australian Dairy Farmers held an important meeting with state dairy organisation presidents and processors to address a range of contractual
issues which farmer organisations have been trying to address and rectify for 15 years.

During the meeting we discussed a range of topics including the difficult circumstances of farm gate price reductions, the introduction of new legislation
on unfair contracts which comes into effect in November and the outcomes from the August Symposium held by Deputy Prime Minister, Barnaby Joyce.

This meeting provided an ideal opportunity for the dairy industry to unite and develop a voluntary industry wide code of practice on contractual arrangements
with farmers.

The code will include:

– greater transparency in contracts and supply agreements

– ensuring a pricing formula or a price setting mechanism is clearly defined within a contract

– ensuring pricing adjustments to farmers throughout a contract are clearly defined and that there will be no retrospectivity

– while acknowledging step ups do occur and step downs have occurred in severe circumstances, a principle should be incorporated into contracts
which clearly outlines that as much notice as possible is necessary if a step-down has to occur

– ensuring farmers should receive all payments that accrue over the term of a contract or supply agreement – the final payments of a contract should
not be contingent on the farmer being a supplier when, for example, the June payment is made in mid-July

– ensure that where a processor has a contracted volume limit or a different price for volume above a particular level then exclusivity of supply
to that processor must not occur

– ensuring there is a clearly defined mechanism for giving notice of termination of a contract

– ensuring there is a clearly defined mechanism of how contract terms and conditions can be modified and the farmer having the right to a negotiated
variation, not simply a request from the processor.

Incorporating these principles into a code of conduct will give farmers, or their representative, the opportunity to have a contract or supply agreement
which is truly negotiated and not simply an agreement which is a “take it or leave” it approach to farmer’s milk supply arrangements.

The ADF together with the state member organisations have worked hard since the crisis unfolded to ensure future milk supply agreements are balanced, fair
and transparent. It has been a long process to get to this stage and a major breakthrough for the entire industry.

State dairy farmer organisations have been working to achieve these improvements for many years. By having a national organisation which is well resourced
the States can achieve things together that would be impossible to achieve on their own.

We plan on finalising the draft code as soon as possible, ahead of the new legislation and before the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission inquiry
into the dairy industry is finalised next year.

Now more than ever, the dairy industry needs to remain focused and united in its goals to achieve a shared vision of improving the profitability and sustainability
of dairy farmers and the entire dairy industry in Australia.

David Basham

Acting ADF President

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The Difference is in the Detail

Over the last few days, New Zealand based Fonterra lifted its forecast milk
payout for the second time. On Wednesday the estimated Farmgate price was boosted by a further 50 NZ cents to $NZ5.25, while the company maintained
its dividend payout to farmers resulting in a total amount of $NZ5.75 to $NZ5.85 per kilogram.

Australian companies are between 10 – 20 per cent below New Zealand’s latest forecast.

While Fonterra’s announcement follows the increased global dairy prices at the Global Dairy Trade auctions, Australian farmers are still waiting for theirs.
Although there are any number of reasons why we are behind New Zealand, it still makes for an interesting conundrum when Australia has a bigger domestic
market and yet our prices remain unadventurously low.

This really highlights how volatile the world milk price is and why we need regular, clear and realistic market signals in Australia.

By establishing a commodity milk price index tool there will be greater transparency to allow farmers to make their own assessments on milk price forecasts.
Farmers will be able to better balance risk along the dairy supply chain, especially when it comes to managing the effects of world milk prices.

New Zealand already has a milk price index and it works quite well, as they have over 90 per cent exports, and can set themselves against the world market.

In Australia we have a 65 per cent domestic market and a different export commodity mix which should deliver a higher price for Australian farmers than
the New Zealand price in a low commodity market as we are in now. Therefore, Australia needs to have an independent commodity index rather than use
New Zealand’s due to our different export commodity mix.

ADF has had extensive discussions with government on the proposed index and we are looking forward to help shaping this important tool. It’s vital we get
this right so all farmers have the ability to use the global information to assist them when they negotiate supply contracts with processors.

The index needs to be independent and transparent with easily accessible data that isn’t hard or complicated to use. It needs to be updated daily to capture
the latest market intelligence from around the world and should translate commodity market and currency trends back to Farmgate prices across Australia.
The index should also deliver a forward-looking price indicator to capture restored certainty and decision-making resulting in improved farmer confidence,
better on-farm investment decisions, and ultimately higher farm profitability.

We have no doubt that our processors will increase their milk price forecast which is why we support the index and want to ensure it is a true indicator
of commodity prices and meets the requirements of the Australian dairy industry as a whole.

The index will also give farmers the tool to better understand the impacts of world market trends and to be better armed with questions of the company
they supply.

David Basham

Acting ADF President

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Another Piece of the Puzzle

Senator Lambie announced she would seek a Senate Inquiry into the Dairy Industry. The ADF was quite concerned about the range of issues the Senator
wished to have addressed and worked with a range of people to achieve a more constructive terms of reference.

While we are not pleased with all the issues to be considered, we believe it is better than it would otherwise have been.

This inquiry will be in addition to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) inquiry into the national dairy industry which is due
to start in November.

This inquiry presents an opportunity to examine the issues affecting the competitiveness and future viability of dairy farming in Australia with farmers
bearing nearly all the risk in the dairy supply chain in the domestic market.

Some of the issues that will undoubtedly be covered include the impact of supermarket price decisions namely the $1 milk on dairy farmers, and the
ongoing physical and mental well being of farmers.

In addition to these, the senate inquiry will likely focus on providing greater transparency in contracts with processors by offering a clear, consistent
formula for milk pricing; and include unambiguous conditions, which is something ADF has advocated strongly towards. Many farmers who have experienced
unfair milk contracts or agreements may have been burdened with debts when the milk price falls.

ADF hopes to be able to achieve implementation of fairer contract clauses through negotiations with processors and be able to provide the Inquiry and
Government with industry developed and shared solutions rather than have Government intervene to impose further regulatory burden that neither
farmers or processors want.

These points illustrate the need by industry to ease the pressure placed on farmers by having to accept an unfair share of the risk and possible financial
fall-out. We believe in greater transparency and look forward to fairer contracts and exploring ways to shed risk by engaging in future markets.

ADF and our state members are united around a clear objective: to ensure every Australian dairyfarmer has the capability, tools and support to fully
understand their individual business position, and to make decisions about their future based on sound evidence and are not be always left to take
all the risks in the market place chain.

To prepare, we believe that all farmers must have earlier and clearer pricing signals, with a more equitable pricing system that better balances risk
along the supply chain of farmers, processors and retailers. Without this, farmers and allied businesses will remain vulnerable.

If we are able to work on minimising potential risk for the future, then we welcome the opportunity to stand up for rural and regional communities
that are doing it tough to make sure that we are able to establish a long term solution that benefits all dairy farmers.

We look forward to working with industry, government and the Economics Reference Committee to advocate on behalf of the dairy farmers to ensure transparency
and equal opportunity, which will provide a fairer way to uncover inequities in the dairy industry.

The report of the senate inquiry is expected to be announced on February 24, 2017.

David Basham

Acting ADF President

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Global Milk Prices Are On The Rise

Recent data on global dairy prices shows a positive rise that looks as if it
might continue.

The average price in the Global Dairy Trade auction overnight rose by 7.7 per cent. This followed two consecutive rises in the past month, with a 12.7
percent increase in prices at the most recent auction, while the important whole milk powder (WMP) price rose by 3.7 per cent.

These results have driven the index to an 18 month high.

Analysts are predicting further rises in the global milk price which suggests that the worst might be behind us and we may start to see some stability
return to the global milk supply. This will hopefully occur through rebalancing of supply and demand due to cut backs in EU production, intervention
buying of SMP (skim milk powder) in Europe and increased buying in China.

Although these increases are nowhere near enough to return to sustainable prices it is pleasing to see that prices are on the rise and things may be looking
better in the long term.

Unfortunately, the most optimistic scenarios see the market turning in any meaningful way in the first quarter of 2017.

As dairy farmers we have a limited capacity to manage the market price so it is important to always focus on what we can manage, remain aware of industry
risks and maintain a low cost production system so we are in a better position to weather any storms.

While we are an industry that has been under intense pressure, we are also an industry that has the know-how and resilience to overcome adversity and thrive
in the long term.

ADF, together with our state members, is continuing to fight for farmers. Even though we won’t be able to solve all of the issues farmers are facing, we
are working to relieve some of the pressures to create change to ensure that an unfair share of the risk in the value chain is not taken by the farmer
and that recent events in the industry don’t happen again.

Collaboration is the key to get us where we need to be. Our industry relies on all the elements to operate effectively. Farmers need processors and vice
versa – so the solutions require all of us to come together to ensure a positive future.

While we wait for the uptick in prices we must remember that we are a resilient industry with a long, sustainable future ahead and our profitability depends
greatly on the continued support of the Australian public.

It is important to remind the community that dairy farmers – regardless of the challenges they face are good business people, who care for their cows,
work to enhance the well-being of their people and that every efficiency we make on farm has ties to minimising our impact of the environment.

To view the global dairy price index [click here]

David Basham

Acting ADF President

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Making Sense of the ACCC Inquiry

The symposium was a great opportunity to facilitate a discussion around how better
to manage risk along the dairy supply chain, including managing the effects of world dairy prices.

A number of topics were covered including the outlook for the Australian dairy industry and options for improving milk price transparency, strengthening
bargaining and restoring industry confidence.

One important outcome of the symposium was the announcement by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources Barnaby Joyce regarding
the upcoming Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) inquiry into the national dairy industry.

The inquiry under Part VIIA of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010, has provided the Commission with additional powers to obtain information from the
entire value chain. What this means is the ACCC has been given extra investigatory control to undertake the inquiry, with the authority to dig deeper
than it would have been able to in a market study.

Already investigating specific issues related to the dairy crisis, the ACCC will have the power to determine whether suppliers engaged in misleading, deceptive
or unconscionable conduct by slashing prices leaving some dairy farmers with massive debts.

The inquiry will investigate sharing risk along the supply chain, supply agreements and contracts, competition, bargaining and trading practices in the
industry and the effect of world retail prices on profitability.

Dairy farmers deserve fair returns at the farm gate, as well as transparency in milk price arrangements and supply contracts. ADF believes that the ACCC
inquiry is a thorough and fair way to uncover inefficiencies and inequities that farmers face; and helps to identify a way forward.

From what we have been told the ACCC will release an issues paper and engage with stakeholders through public and private hearings starting in November.
We encourage everyone in the dairy industry to contribute to the inquiry to ensure the ACCC gets the information it needs. There will also be confidentiality
arrangements in place to protect commercial interests.

After the stakeholder engagement meetings, we will be encouraged to provide written submissions to the ACCC before they deliver a final report to government
in the second half of 2017.

This inquiry will shed some light on the bigger picture by analysing the broader dairy industry to identify structural and behavioural issues that affect
the industry’s performance. By engaging with stakeholders, the ACCC will have a better chance of identifying and understanding the key issues in the
industry and we look forward to being a part of the solution.

Further information about the inquiry, including about how you can be involved, will be made available following the receipt of a Terms of Reference from
the Treasurer.

The government will continue to work with dairy farmers and processors to strengthen the industry, including our election commitment of up to $2 million
to establish a commodity milk price index, while the ACCC’s findings from this inquiry will be a vital source of information when looking at options
for the index.

Further information on the ACCC’s inquiry, including its terms of reference, will be made available at www.accc.gov.au/agriculture shortly.

David Basham

Acting ADF President

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Important Outcomes From The Symposium

The symposium was held yesterday in Melbourne and both the Australian Dairy
Farmers CEO John McQueen and myself attended.

Firstly, I would like to thank the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Barnaby Joyce for organising and chairing the
symposium as well as other government officials who were in attendance.

I would also like to thank our state members – QDO, NSWFarmers, SADA, TFGA, UDV, WAFarmers and industry partners for their work prior to the symposium
which gave us the opportunity to narrow our message down to focus on four important key areas.

Lastly I would like to thank the processors and retailers who were at the symposium to hear from concerned farmers, owners of small businesses and people
who produce a quality product that many people in Australia rely on.

For me, the symposium provided an opportunity for the dairy industry to have an open discussion with key stakeholders to address the challenges facing
the Australian dairy industry.

Our main points include no $1 milk, no late season drop in milk price, fairer contracts, commodity milk price index with an educational program and critical
need for farmers and manufacturers to find the solutions rather than depend on government.

These points illustrate the need by industry to ease the pressure placed on farmers by having to accept an unfair share of the risk and possible financial
fall-out. We believe in greater transparency and look forward to working with the government on establishing the commodity price index tool which will
help tip the balance back to the farmer.

Since 2011, we have said that the $1 milk devalues the product by taking substantial value out of the supply chain and has to stop if we are going to maintain
a sustainable industry. There needs to be greater fairness in contracts and we have committed to working with processors to ensure all contracts comply
with the unfair Contracts Legislation that begins on November 12, 2016. Also, the situation in Western Australia needs to be addressed immediately
as we don’t believe it’s right that nine farmers may not have anywhere to take their milk.

In response, Minister Joyce urges the need for industry to work together to better balance risk along the dairy supply chain, especially when it comes
to managing the effects of lower world prices. He wants to see improved Farmgate returns for dairy farmers, an openness in milk price arrangements
and fair and transparent milk supply contracts; plus, the development of a commodity milk price index which he committed up to $2 million in government
funding to establish. Also, for industry to find a compromise to the $1 milk situation otherwise he will need to take action and push for an immediate
solution.

However, he also acknowledged that these things will only happen if there is buy-in from industry and a willingness from key stakeholders to hear each
other out and develop solutions together.

A surprise announcement made by Minister Joyce at the conclusion of the symposium advised that Treasurer Scott Morrison has request the ACCC to undertake
an inquiry under Part VIIA of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 providing the Commission with powers to obtain information from the entire value
chain. What this means is the ACCC has been given extra investigatory powers to undertake the inquiry, with the authority to dig deeper than it would
have been able to in a market study. The inquiry, which will begin in November, will investigate sharing risk along the supply chain, supply agreements
and contracts, competition, bargaining and trading practices in the industry and the effect of world retail prices on profitability.

Yesterday’s dairy symposium delivered on Minister Joyce’s election promise to get key stakeholders together to address challenges facing the Australian
dairy industry and discuss ways to improve the industry’s prospects going forward.

One of the ways the Coalition Government is delivering assistance to dairy farmers is with a $579 million support package to help manage through the current
low price environment. The funding been allocated to four main areas including access to Dairy Recovery Concessional Loans, Farm Household Allowance
(FHA), the Rural Financial Counselling Service and an additional $900,000 for Dairy Australia to roll out ‘Tactics for Tight Times’ one-to-one farm
business advice.

If you have any questions relating to whether you are eligible for the concessional loans, the government has released a dairy question and answer section
on their website (click here).
However, we suggest that you also contact a financial counsellor or the relevant state delivery agency as they will be able to help you with information
and the application process.

David Basham

Acting ADF President

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What We Really Need Now

The Four Corners ‘Milked Dry’ program aired Monday 15th and highlighted the financial toll that cheap dairy products and fluctuations in both the domestic and global markets have taken on dairy farmers.
This state of crisis has also shown just how far consumers will rally to help our struggling industry, but it will only solve half the problem.

What we really need now is to go beyond short term measures to create stability for our industry’s long term future. The need for transparency and improved fairness by finding new ways to manage price volatility for farmers; and through simplifying supply contracts so farmers know exactly what it means and how it will affect them.

The first in a series of formal talks with the dairy industry, the Prime Minister Malcom Turnball, Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce and representatives
of Murray Goulburn met to discuss ways to increase the profitability of the Australian dairy industry in order to support farming families and their
communities. An important thing to take away from this meeting is the fact that the Australian Government and Murray Goulburn both agreed that Australia’s
dairy farmers deserve fair returns at the farm gate, as well as transparency in milk price arrangements and supply contracts. Another important outcome
was the role Murray Goulburn will play in explaining to their suppliers what steps they will take to support farmers and restore confidence to the
dairy sector.

We expect a similar message and outcome of next week’s meeting between Fonterra’s Australian management and the Government who will continue to discuss
the state of the dairy industry and how the current issues could be avoided in the future.

The last in the series of talks is the dairy symposium to be held in Melbourne on August 25, chaired by Minister Joyce with representatives from the farming,
processing and retail sectors. We will be asking the government to formally review a number of high priority issues including $1 milk, fair contract
terms and conditions, and a world dairy commodity pricing index.

At ADF, we are working closely with state members and dairy farmer representatives to make sure the government continues to strengthen the industry through
consultation with both Australia’s dairy farmers and processors. We are committed to provide innovative and practical solutions to help farmers achieve
a sustainable level of profitability and ensure that our farmers’ best interests are reflected in the work we do so they can take control of their
situation and make informed choices.

One of the ways the government is helping dairy farmers is by providing assistance through a $579 million support package. This package includes access
to Dairy Recovery Concessional Loans, Farm Household Allowance (FHA), the Rural Financial Counselling Service and an additional $900,000 for Dairy
Australia to roll out ‘Tactics for Tight Times’ one-to-one farm business advice.

The government support package is there to help us through this difficult time. It is very important that dairy farmers, including farm owners, share-farmers
or leasers not self-assess their eligibility for government assistance. If you have any questions relating to whether you are eligible for the concessional
loans, please contact a financial counsellor or the relevant state delivery agency as they will be able to help you with information and the application
process.

David Basham

Acting ADF President  

Uncategorized

Its Time To Stand Together

Most of you are aware the Four Corners ‘Milked Dry’ segment will go to air tonight,
Monday 15th August, which is a follow-on from the dairy price cuts that happened a few months ago.

As a Dairy farmer, we know the industry is not immune to the volatility of milk prices and as history has shown the prices will probably continue to fluctuate
well into the future.

What the majority of the public don’t see is how resilient we are. Not just as farmers, but as business people, as entrepreneurs and experts in sustainability,
with the skills to adapt our businesses within this challenging environment as best we can.

Behind the scenes, the Dairy industry are working together to provide farmers with the support they need during this challenging time. As an industry,
we are united in going beyond short term measures to create stability for our industry’s long term future.

An important aspect of this is the need for transparency and improved fairness by finding new ways to manage price volatility for farmers. We are working
to address these issues through simplifying supply contracts and improving transparency in the milk pricing system.

The ADF is pleased that the Hon Barnaby Joyce MP is proceeding to hold a Symposium with farmers, manufactures and retailers. The ADF will provide strong
dairy farmer representation regarding the major issues we face including $ milk, fair contract terms and conditions, and a world dairy commodity pricing
index which are just a few of the high priority issues.

There are unfortunately no silver bullets to restore our industry, but there are resources available to help farmers navigate the current challenges and
manage the impact of recent announcements. This includes the Tactics for Tight Times program, which helps provide clarity to farmers about settings
and seasonal conditions, supports key decision making on farms, and put farmers directly in touch with other services such as health and wellbeing
organisations. It’s important to make the time to take up these opportunities.

While being put in the spotlight can sometimes feel overwhelming, the media is a great vehicle to share our message with the public to let them know what
is happening and ways they can help. It is also a chance for state organisations and dairy farmers to let consumers know that they can show their appreciation
and support by buying Australian milk and dairy products.

David Basham

Acting ADF President

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Coalition Continues Support for Australian Dairy Farmers

The ADF has heard from Minister Joyce that he will be convening a symposium on
dairy issues as part of the Coalitions election commitments. The ADF will be working hard with state organisation members over the next few weeks
to prepare for the Symposium.

We expect it will provide an opportunity to discuss the major issues facing the industry including $ milk, fair contract terms and conditions, a world
dairy commodity pricing index, issues in WA where some farmers have been given notice of not being picked up and backpacker tax, to name a few of the
high priority issues.

While we have welcomed the Governments support package we continue to urge changes to the criteria for access to most elements of the Governments support
package, particularly the concessional loans package.

The plan announced in the lead up to the 2016 election, included $555 million in concessional loans with 10-year loan terms, $20 million for an upgrade
to Gippsland irrigation infrastructure, $2 million to establish a commodity milk price index and $1.8 million to provide business and financial counselling.

I urge all farmers to not self-assess whether they are eligible for the concessional loans support package. We know many have had difficulty with access
and we have been able to use some of these experiences in our ongoing discussions with the Department for changes to the eligibility criteria.

The Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister will be meeting with the Murray Goulburn Board to discuss the global and domestic challenges facing Australian
dairy farmers. It will be interesting to hear the outcome of this meeting. Mr. Joyce will then convene the dairy farmer symposium with the Department
of Agriculture and Water Resources

The ongoing support and commitment of government is essential for us to successfully navigate through these trying times so we are able to provide innovative
and practical solutions to help farmers achieve a sustainable level of profitability. We need to ensure that the solutions we present are in our farmers’
best interests, so they can take control of their situation and make informed choices.

ADF thanks Barnaby Joyce for maintaining this election promise and his continued commitment to seeking solutions to the current dairy situation.

David Basham

Acting ADF President

Uncategorized

​Support from East to West

2016 is proving to be a year of contradictions for Australian dairy farmers.

As I spent a few days in Western Australia this week, I was reminded of the significant challenges we are facing right across the country and the remarkable
resilience dairy farmers are showing in times of hardship.

Western Australian dairy farmers have mostly been buffered from export oriented market volatility and have experienced a good season, yet they are not
immune from other difficulties. Bushfires impacted the region and a growing oversupply in the domestic milk market led to processors telling farmers
they’re no longer required. With limited options of processors that suppliers can shift to, these dairy farmers face an uncertain future.

ADF has been working with WA Farmers, processors and government, to help find a solution for these farmers as we know there are strong opportunities for
the WA dairy industry.

Reflecting sentiments right across the country, it was heartening to see the amount of support for the industry at the WA Farmers Conference on Thursday.
Even when we are under pressure, we are an industry that has the know-how and motivation to overcome these adversities and thrive in the long term.

No one is alone in these scenarios and we need to ensure that all farmers feel supported during tough times.

Over the past few years there have been examples in all states where decisions of some processors have severely affected farmers and reinforced the vulnerability
of dairy farmers’ market position. It is unsustainable and unacceptable to expect that farmers continue to bear the full weight of financial risk in
the supply chain.

We are working, and will continue to work, with all states to find a better way to balance this risk and improve transparency for the long-term, sustainable
profit and ultimately, survival of the whole industry.

David Basham

Acting ADF President

Uncategorized

With the election over, it’s time to get things done

After ten days of vote counting, this week Australian Dairy Farmers (ADF) congratulates
the Coalition Government on its re-election.

As an industry, dairy has enjoyed a constructive relationship with the Coalition throughout its previous term, and we look forward to continuing that spirit
of this engagement.

With the election behind us, promises made can now be translated into concrete action.

Although the ministry will not be sworn in until next week, ADF has already met with the Department of Agriculture’s advisors to progress the roll out
of key support measures announced in the Dairy Support Package. In particular we continue to highlight the urgency in providing immediate access for
all affected farmers to Concessional Loans and the Farm Household Allowance support.

Importantly, concerns raised by farmers who have been working to access these measures, including by share farmers, are being taken seriously and will
continue to be progressed with the government.

We will continue to work with the Coalition and the opposition to address other key priorities for the dairy industry also, including implementing an effects
test to better balance market power throughout the supply chain, invest in rural research and development to build resilience, ensure secure access
to sustainable water resources and support a national strategy to address technical barriers to trade.

Over the coming weeks, the ADF policy advisory groups will continue to meet in Melbourne to cement our priorities for the new government. Building industry
resilience, as well as addressing the lack of transparency throughout the supply chain are on our agenda.

July has begun the same way June came to an end – with wild weather and floods challenging many dairying regions and low milk prices meaning revised budgets
and planning across all farms.

As we work together to weather these storms we must remember that we are a resilient industry with a long, sustainable future ahead. Our profitability
and therefore resilience as an industry depends greatly on the support of the Australian public.

We must continue to remind the community that dairy farmers – regardless of the challenges they face are good business people, who care for their cows,
work to enhance the wellbeing of their people and that every efficiency we make on farm has ties to minimising our impact of the environment.

David Basham

Acting ADF President

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Collaboration key to dairy success

With the official announcement of last weekend’s election yet to be made, the
dairy sector (like the rest of the nation) is watching very closely and working to ensure that all political parties understand our priorities. Whatever
the outcome, it is essential that stability reigns – effective policy formation and clear action to overcome challenges will be otherwise impossible.

Australian Dairy Farmers (ADF) has made clear its priorities for the next government – extend and streamline access to the concessional loans and Farm
Household Assistance for all affected farmers, create a safer, more resilient workforce, ensure secure sustainable access to water resources and above
all, address the imbalance of market power within the dairy supply chain.

It’s good to see that all parties have recognised the importance of supporting our farmers through the current challenge, as well as committing to developing
innovative solutions to building long term sustainability of our industry.

However, it is concerning to see some are still calling for a fresh milk levy – an unworkable solution. If a fresh milk levy was imposed, it would potentially
result in farmers who supply domestic markets subsidising their export market oriented counterparts. This is not a workable solution.

There are also potential difficulties associated with such a levy breaching Australian Competition and Consumer Commission regulations as well as potential
issues with the World Trade Organisation.

The fundamental issue our farmers continue to face is that they wear the bulk of financial risk in the dairy supply chain. We need a practical and viable
solution to increase transparency in the way the milk pricing system works and to simplify milk contracts to ensure the volatility of the market is
better balanced along the supply chain.

This week UDV and ADF met with farmers in South West Victoria – to hear concerns, answer questions and build feedback about the current supply chain into
our policy work. This is one of many meetings ADF will continue to participate in throughout the year, to ensure we are effectively representing farmers’
interests.

The discussion was robust. Overall, the consensus in the room was that trust has been broken and we need to find a way forward.

The challenges faced by farmers in Western Australia due to processor decisions reinforce the sector as a whole is enduring tough times – no state is immune.

Collaboration is what will get us to where we need to be. Our industry relies on all the elements to operate effectively. Farmers need processors and vice
versa – so the solutions will require input from all parties.

Beyond this the public and the government ignore us if we do not operate as one. If we have a hung parliament, dairy will need parliamentary champions to advocate our policy priorities and the industry must work together to feed them that case.

David Basham

Acting ADF President

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June President’s Message

Opening milk price announcements made this week by Murray Goulburn and Fonterra have
once again, reinforced the need for improved transparency in the way milk pricing is structured and communicated in Australia.

Not only are the announcements much too late for farmers to properly budget and plan around, but many questions have to be asked to understand them. Add
to the already complex system a loan repayment and the forecast opening price is far from what it first appears.

Both Murray Goulburn and Fonterra’s recent announcements are confusing and difficult to understand – they lack clarity and transparency.

Murray Goulburn’s repayment system is complex at best. Further, the exact amount that farmers will repay by the end of the financial year 2016-17 is not
articulated in the announcement – nor is it clear that farmers will actually pay an initial repayment of 14 cents per kg/ms plus any further repayments
Murray Goulburn decide to deduct.
Fonterra’s announced opening price of $4.75kg/ms was better than expected, however the detail around who received what is not clear. Existing Fonterra
suppliers will receive around $4.75 ($4.73 due to interest on the loans). Any supplier who did not supply Fonterra milk in May-June (including farmers
that had dried off) are not eligible for the Autumn offset and therefore receive around $4.54.
We shouldn’t have to ask to get this information – it should be clear as day. After all farmers are providing the very lifeblood of these organisations,
it’s in everyone’s best interests that we get this information up front and can work within these means.

Improving the transparency of the milk pricing system is important, and Australian Dairy Farmers (ADF) continues to work with our state members to this
end. It is essential that processors come to the table and discuss this as a collective, to help protect the future of our sector.

No one can dispute that the current market situation for dairy farmers, whether you are a supplier to the export or domestic market, is rough. Even the
best placed businesses will be making difficult decisions.

While we cannot change the milk price, ADF is working hard with our state members to improve the transparency in the milk pricing system and simplify milk
contracts. We are also fighting for farmers to better manage the risk throughout the supply chain so that they do not always bear the financial risk.

This weekend Australia takes to the polls and by next week the successful party will be moving into Parliament. ADF and our state members will be back
in Canberra as soon as the elected party is announced to keep the pressure on.

As an industry dairy has supported its own and will continue to do so. We’ve never asked for a bail out but rather for targeted assistance that will help
get our industry over the current hurdle and better balance risk throughout the supply chain going forward. We need structural change that improves
fairness and brings more balance into the market – competition law can be improved more.

ADF acknowledges the Dairy Recovery Concessional Loans are now available in SA, TAS and Victoria. We welcome this support, and will continue to advocate
that all affected dairy workers are eligible for this assistance.

I encourage all farmers to keep talking to ADF, your state representatives and RDPs. It’s tough for everyone out there right now, and the season ahead
will be challenging. This will go beyond the farm gate, with our service providers and communities likely to feel the pinch too – keep this in mind
and let’s all look out for one another.

David Basham 

Acting ADF President

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United we are always stronger

Australian Dairy Farmers’ (ADF) first priority in recent months has been
to secure support for our industry led initiatives, and targeted assistance from Federal and State Government to help see farmers through the short
term cash flow crisis. It is frustrating that this has created the expectation of immediate relief yet some farmers are not eligible. We continue to
lobby strong on farmers’ behalf to secure access for all affected farmers to Dairy Recovery Loans, now available in Victoria and Tasmania. We expect
criteria to be released imminently in South Australia and New South Wales.

Many farmers have been calling the ADF and state dairy farming offices to discuss these assistance mechanisms, and highlight accessibility issues. We encourage
all concerned farmers to keep these communication channels flowing as it is vital for ADF to know which issues to target.

As an industry, we are going beyond these short term measures to create stability for our industry’s long term future. Central to this is finding new ways
to manage price volatility for farmers.

ADF in collaboration with our state members has long advocated the need for competition policy reform that addresses the unequal balance of market power
in the supply chain with not only a Mandatory Code of Conduct to control said power, but also a Supermarket Ombudsman to effectively regulate the code.
We have made important in roads in the last two years, but there is still work to be done.

Ideas developed through the Markets, Trade and Value Chain meeting last week are being progressed and work with the Australian Competition and Consumer
Commission is gaining traction.

All three major political parties have come to the table to discuss potential solutions over recent weeks, and this is to be commended. It is essential
that this movement does not stop at political rhetoric, but rather translate to real and tangible changes for our industry.

Ensuring issues that affect our entire sector’s ongoing productivity and competitiveness are on the Federal political agenda remains equally important
during these tough times.

In particular, ADF continues to seek commitments from all political parties to support dairy’s access to secure, affordable water resources. While recent
rainfall has been a welcome reprieve for many regions the long term outlook for water allocations remains bleak. ADF continues to push for vital changes
to the Murray Darling Basin Plan and environmental water trading to make certain enough water is available when farmers need it and at an affordable
price.

Funding for dedicated agricultural health services and resources is urgently required to safeguard the wellbeing of our workforce. Federal Government should
make ongoing commitments to vital resources including the National Centre for Farmer Health to match that of State Government.

We continue to work closely with the National Farmers Federation to accelerate agriculture by addressing key workforce issues including the scrapping of
the backpacker tax, as well as supporting industry’s efforts to reduce carbon emissions intensity.

Ensuring these priority areas are addressed in the upcoming election will enable our industry to take control of its own destiny, and develop a stronger,
more prosperous and sustainable future.

Australian dairy farmers know we’re not immune to significant market forces such as the slowdown in the Chinese economy, or the Russian ban on importing
product. But the low prices announced recently will be below the cost of production for many farmers. While some have faced such volatility before
their current situation is no doubt compounded by the unprecedented challenges driven by processor decisions in the 2015-16 financial year.

ADF continues to work with all our state members – QDO, NSWFarmers, SADA, TFGA, UDV and WAFarmers as well as industry partners to hold State
and Federal Government to their promises of support, and to drive real, meaningful change throughout the supply chain for the betterment of our industry.
Together we are stronger than we will ever be divided – and united we will support farmers through the challenges they currently face.

David Basham

Acting ADF President

Uncategorized

United we are always stronger

Australian Dairy Farmers’ (ADF) first priority in recent months has been
to secure support for our industry led initiatives, and targeted assistance from Federal and State Government to help see farmers through the short
term cash flow crisis. It is frustrating that this has created the expectation of immediate relief yet some farmers are not eligible. We continue to
lobby strong on farmers’ behalf to secure access for all affected farmers to Dairy Recovery Loans, now available in Victoria and Tasmania. We expect
criteria to be released imminently in South Australia and New South Wales.

Many farmers have been calling the ADF and state dairy farming offices to discuss these assistance mechanisms, and highlight accessibility issues. We encourage
all concerned farmers to keep these communication channels flowing as it is vital for ADF to know which issues to target.

As an industry, we are going beyond these short term measures to create stability for our industry’s long term future. Central to this is finding new ways
to manage price volatility for farmers.

ADF in collaboration with our state members has long advocated the need for competition policy reform that addresses the unequal balance of market power
in the supply chain with not only a Mandatory Code of Conduct to control said power, but also a Supermarket Ombudsman to effectively regulate the code.
We have made important in roads in the last two years, but there is still work to be done.

Ideas developed through the Markets, Trade and Value Chain meeting last week are being progressed and work with the Australian Competition and Consumer
Commission is gaining traction.

All three major political parties have come to the table to discuss potential solutions over recent weeks, and this is to be commended. It is essential
that this movement does not stop at political rhetoric, but rather translate to real and tangible changes for our industry.

Ensuring issues that affect our entire sector’s ongoing productivity and competitiveness are on the Federal political agenda remains equally important
during these tough times.

In particular, ADF continues to seek commitments from all political parties to support dairy’s access to secure, affordable water resources. While recent
rainfall has been a welcome reprieve for many regions the long term outlook for water allocations remains bleak. ADF continues to push for vital changes
to the Murray Darling Basin Plan and environmental water trading to make certain enough water is available when farmers need it and at an affordable
price.

Funding for dedicated agricultural health services and resources is urgently required to safeguard the wellbeing of our workforce. Federal Government should
make ongoing commitments to vital resources including the National Centre for Farmer Health to match that of State Government.

We continue to work closely with the National Farmers Federation to accelerate agriculture by addressing key workforce issues including the scrapping of
the backpacker tax, as well as supporting industry’s efforts to reduce carbon emissions intensity.

Ensuring these priority areas are addressed in the upcoming election will enable our industry to take control of its own destiny, and develop a stronger,
more prosperous and sustainable future.

Australian dairy farmers know we’re not immune to significant market forces such as the slowdown in the Chinese economy, or the Russian ban on importing
product. But the low prices announced recently will be below the cost of production for many farmers. While some have faced such volatility before
their current situation is no doubt compounded by the unprecedented challenges driven by processor decisions in the 2015-16 financial year.

ADF continues to work with all our state members – QDO, NSWFarmers, SADA, TFGA, UDV and WAFarmers as well as industry partners to hold State
and Federal Government to their promises of support, and to drive real, meaningful change throughout the supply chain for the betterment of our industry.
Together we are stronger than we will ever be divided – and united we will support farmers through the challenges they currently face.

David Basham

Acting ADF President

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Keeping an eye on the big picture

The first priority over the last few weeks has been to secure targeted assistance and roll
out support to help farmers with their most pressing needs.

At the same time, we remain focused on the big picture – especially when it comes to water. It won’t be enough to help farmers get over this hurdle if
their businesses later fall over because water is too scarce and expensive to stay milking in seasons to come.

We can’t control the weather. The recent rains are a welcome reprieve, but to make a substantial difference to the bleak outlook on water allocations for
next season it will need to keep raining heavily in the catchments over the next few months..

So while we watch the skies, our priority remains achieving long-term objectives on what can be controlled. Environmental water trading, the Murray Darling
Basin Plan and the Connections reset all have an important bearing on whether enough water will be available when farmers need it and at a price they
can afford in 2016/17 and beyond.

We are advocating for State and Federal Government commitments to assist our industry by making more water available next season. Potential untapped sources
include trade in northern Victorian allocations to urban centres such as Melbourne, as well as a share of the environmental water held in Victorian
and Commonwealth accounts.

The amendments to the Federal Water Act last month mean that the Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder (CEWH) now has more flexibility to trade water
it may not need. As of 31 March, the CEWH still had just over 300 GL in storage; while it has no plans to trade in 2016-17 at this stage, this may
change as part of environmental planning now underway.

We also remain focused on the Connections reset. The announcement that only $388 million is left to deliver more than 100 GL savings was unwelcome news
at a time when farmers already have so much on their plates. Now more than ever, we must get this reset right to provide sustainable infrastructure
for a resilient dairy industry.

Once the election is over, we will be back in Canberra to keep the pressure on the elected party to achieve the Murray Darling Basin Plan’s environmental
outcomes without removing any more water from irrigated agriculture.

State and Commonwealth Governments have an in-principle agreement to deliver the full 650GL in environmental offsets, and undertake more robust socio-economic
assessment before any attempt to achieve more than the 2750 GL target. We are holding them to all of these commitments.

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John McQueen to help lead ADF forward

ADF has welcomed back well respected former CEO, John McQueen in an interim role after
the departure of Benjamin Stapley, who resigned last week.

As CEO for over 20 years, Mr McQueen stepped down in 2007 – however dairy was never far from his thoughts as a senior agriculture advisor to past Prime
Ministers Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard and recently in his independent consultancy.

Prior to his time at the helm of ADF, John held the position of CEO at the Australian Dairy Herd Improvement Scheme (ADHIS). John also spent time working
with ABC-TV’s Science Unit, producing, researching and directing programs such as the first three series of Towards 2000.

Mr McQueen’s significant policy expertise, strong industry relationships and political connections are a very welcome addition to the team at ADF, which
is working hard to support farmers through a period of unprecedented challenges.

Outcomes-focused, non-prescriptive is a mantra that John is proud of and will continue to be part his approach in his return to ADF.

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Nation-wide roadshow kicks off in Tasmania

Representatives from Australian Dairy Farmers (ADF) embarked on a series of national roadshows beginning in Tasmania on 4 May, in partnership with state
dairy farming members.

Comprised of a series of farmer focused forums across the course of 2016, the roadshow offers farmers the opportunity to engage with national and state
dairy member representatives on the issues most important to them and their region.

The roadshow is also an opportunity to get up to speed on progress and developments which have occurred over the past year, as well as talking through
the industry’s election priorities for 2016.

ADF Senior Policy Manager, David Losberg said the regional forums would provide farmers with the opportunity to discuss the issues of critical importance
to their region.

“Our industry is experiencing unprecedented challenges at present and we want our members and the public to engage with us, and ensure their interests
are effectively represented. Our aim for these forums is to help provide clarity on the policy support mechanisms secured on farmers’ behalf and facilitate
opportunities to make recommendations for future improvements.”

“Now more than ever it’s important that our farmers know who is representing their interests, and that we are tirelessly working on your behalf with minimal
resources to gain the results farmers need to be successful in businesses and provide succession opportunities.”

Since May, ADF has visited dairy regions in Tasmania, New South Wales and Queensland. Queensland Dairyfarmers Organisation President, Brian Tessmann said
the forums were a valuable opportunity for members to air their thoughts and express their needs to the people who represent them.

“The ADF Roadshows are always useful and insightful for our Queensland farmer members. The most recent events in Warwick and Maleny were extremely timely
and helpful for our members who had a number of national industry questions given the situation down south.”

“It is important that we continue to work closely with ADF to continue getting results for our members at a national level and events such as these ensure
that ADF have the opportunity to hear directly from Queensland farmers.”

The next roadshow forum takes place in Western Australia on 26 July. For more information on the roadshow schedule or any other details please contact
Shona McPherson, ADF Media Officer via media@australiandairyfarmers.com.au or mobile 0447
293 844.

Representatives from ADF and QDO speak with farmers at the Maleny Dairy event in June. 

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Reviews of supply contracts, pricing system underway

Dairy farmer representatives on the ADF Markets, Trade and Value Chain Policy Advisory
Group (PAG) gathered in Melbourne this week to discuss a range of measures to establish a fairer, more transparent dairy market.

Simplifying supplier contracts and agreements featured heavily and methods to make them simpler and more transparent. Further to this the lack of transparency
regarding milk pricing, and its ability to be retrospective is unacceptable and must be addressed.

The PAG also reviewed the methods to give clear, independent and credible market and price signals to dairy farmers and how this might be practically applied
to the Australian dairy market.

Providing farmers with the right tools and resources to manage the opportunities and risks associated with a fluctuating dairy market was also a focus
to help bolster the industry’s resilience in the long term.

Significantly, the meeting agreed upon the need to modernise the Australian industry’s pricing structures and contracts to recognise the complex operating
environment that farmers face, to better balance financial risk along the supply chain. ADF is working with all state members, levels of Government
and industry to achieve these endeavours.

ADF continues to press for the release of the full dairy support package as soon as possible and will update farmers as soon as this information is released.

We have had a couple of operational changes at ADF in recent weeks, with the resignation of ADF CEO Benjamin Stapley announced yesterday. The ADF Board
has already taken steps to ensure that the role of CEO is well served in both the short and long term.

Contact has already been made with former ADF CEO John McQueen, now an industry consultant, to step into this important leadership role on an interim basis
while the recruitment process is completed. Mr McQueen steps into the role as early as Monday morning and there will be a smooth, effective transition
so no time is lost in fulfilling ADF’s mission to lobby for a stronger future for Australian dairy farmers.

These are unprecedented times and we need to ensure we have the right leadership balance to effectively address these issues, while not losing sight of
other priorities important to building farmers long term sustainability.

The small team at ADF, remains committed to driving strong policy to transform the way our industry operates for the better.

Many farmers have been calling our offices in recent weeks seeking advice, assistance and information on what ADF is doing on their behalf. We encourage
you to keep connecting with ADF to ensure we effectively represent your interests.

David Basham

Acting ADF President

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Industry sustainability commitments recognised

Keeping Australian dairy in business for the long term. This was the catch-phrase
of the Australian Dairy Industry Sustainability Framework when it was first endorsed by the Australian Dairy Industry Council (ADIC) in 2012.

This long term thinking is especially relevant today, says the Chair of the Framework’s Steering Committee, Chris Griffin, a Gippsland dairy farmer.

“The Australian dairy industry is facing unprecedented challenges, yet securing our industry’s triple bottom line approach to sustainability remains as important as ever,” Chris says.

“Although the industry’s immediate priority is to support dairy farmers through the recent step downs, the Framework helps us keep an eye on the horizon.
Importantly it tracks our progress and drives practice change where necessary to ensure the industry is sustainable for the long term.”

In June, the ADIC was recognised for its sustainability framework by the United Nations Association of Australia (UNAA) with its 2016 Organisation Leadership Award.

Judges said that the Framework was “exceptional and inspiring, particularly its whole-of-supply-chain focus; rigorous targets and reporting; impacts to
date; stakeholder and community involvement; and communication”. They also recognised the Framework’s potential to act as a model for other whole-of-industry
approaches for an even broader impact.

Further acknowledgement of the value of the Framework and support for dairy farmers’ commitment to sustainable production comes from Ian McConnell at WWF
Australia, a member of a stakeholder reference group for the project, the Dairy Sustainability Consultative Forum.

“The value of the Framework is helping the dairy industry to know where the pressure points are coming from,” says Ian.

“By being in front of the issues, the industry can better shape its response. And when issues do emerge, such as pricing or producer profitability, it
can be in more control and shape the conversation.

“It’s not just about the milk. The Framework helps Australian dairy to tell the wider story about the industry and its producers.”

Whenever a dairy farmer takes steps to improve their business or their practices, or reduces their environmental impact, they are contributing to the industry’s
progress on sustainability under the Framework,” says Chris.

“The challenge is to make sure we are focussed on targets that will deliver the best outcomes for the industry, the community and the environment.”

For more information, visit www.dairysustainabilityoz.com.au

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ADHIS Update: 2016 Feeding the Genes results

The 2016 Feeding the Genes study, conducted by Dr John Morton, for ADHIS, investigated interactions between sire genetics and feeding systems on:

  • milk solids production;
  • and the cow’s chance of lasting in the herd.

The milk production results were clear. The study found that in all feeding systems, the daughters of high index (BPI, HWI or TWI) sires produce more milk
solids than daughters of low index sires.

In terms of survival, the daughters of high index (BPI, HWI and TWI) sires last longer than daughters of low index sires in all pasture-based feeding systems.
The scale of effects of sire index vary by index and feeding system:

The HWI has larger effects on longevity than BPI or TWI.

In low bail feeding systems the daughters of high BPI and HWI sires last longer than daughters of low index sires.

In moderate to high bail feeding, partial mixed ration (PMR) and hybrid feeding systems, the daughters of high index (BPI, HWI and TWI) sires last longer.

In total mixed ration (TMR) systems the daughters of high HWI sires last longer.

The findings support the take-home message that herd managers should select high index sires whose ABVs are aligned with the breeding objectives for their
herd, regardless of their feeding system.

Read more about the results of this exciting research in this factsheet or contact Michelle Axford on 0427 573 330 or maxford@adhis.com.au for more information.

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Early pricing signals essential

Many in the dairy industry feel under enormous pressure at the moment. Farmers not
only have the challenge of adapting their business plans to recent price shocks – we also pick up the paper to read about it every day. With more processors’
opening milk prices due in coming weeks, following Warrnambool Cheese and Butter’s (WCB) announcement today, no doubt some will feel the pressure begin
to mount once more.

We recognise that the announcement from WCB will come as a shock to many, given it is well below the cost of production. Despite the disappointing low
price, we must recognise that they have heeded calls for early price signals and provided much needed certainty to their suppliers.

While we are an industry under pressure, we are also an industry that has the know-how and motivation to overcome these adversities and thrive in the long
term. No one is alone in this scenario and we need to ensure that all farmers feel supported during tough times.

ADF, together with our state members and Dairy Australia is fighting for our farmers. We can’t solve all of the issues farmers are currently facing, but
we can work to relieve some of the immediate pressures and accelerate change to ensure this doesn’t happen again.

We have welcomed the promises made by State and Federal Government, now they must stop playing politics and deliver. Farmers need certainty as to their
options right now.

While we await Government decisions, there are industry resources available to help farmers manage the impact of recent events. It’s important to make
the time to take up these opportunities. Dairy Australia’s Taking Stock provides free one-to-one
business analysis that can help you prepare for the season ahead.

The Dairy Farmer Central website launched this week by the Victorian dairy industry, lists all of these
tools and more. It also signposts events – some of these events will inform and help you plan for the season ahead, others provide an opportunity to
take time out from the farm and get some perspective. We are working to make this website applicable Australia-wide.

These tools are not a silver bullet to restore our businesses but they will help navigate the challenges, so we can move toward a stronger, fairer and
more sustainable future.

David Basham

ADF Acting President

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South Coast Flood Recovery Assistance

Since heavy rains and wild winds hit the south east cost on 5 June, flooding has significantly affected dairying regions in Queensland, New South Wales
and Tasmania. These floods have added further issues to the industry which is already dealing with significant strain and instability.

The Australian dairy industry has mobilised quickly to provide farmers with support. 48 hours on from the damaging events, recovery assistance is the primary
focus. We are working to understand the full impact of the floods to ensure targeted assistance for farmers. 
We are working to ensure farmers have adequate access to clean water and power to enable them to keep milking. Farmers are working to protect and
care for their animals during these extreme events. Unfortunately, there have been reports of cows being lost to the floods and we empathise with farmers
having to face this difficult situation.
Fencing is also an immediate concern, with the high water speed having destroyed many farm fences, as well as loss of pasture and newly sown crops. 
Please see below for information on seeking flood recovery assistance, further updates will be made as the information is made available: 
If my property has been affected, what should I be doing?

  • Try to focus on your priorities by writing a quick checklist of all the jobs that come to mind – classifying them by what needs to be done today, this
    week and later in the month. Download your Dairy Australia ‘recovery priority list’ here.
  • Take photos of the damage on your property to build up an inventory of losses (i.e. pumps, fencing, feed, etc).
  • Keep records of damage on your property until Helplines become available. Accurate and timely information will help the relevant departments secure
    the best possible level of disaster assistance.
  • Keep all your receipts associated with recovery efforts.
  • Remember to ask for help. 

What other support is there to assist me?

  • Find out about the options for milking without electricity supply here
  • Find out how to manage the health and welfare of cows during floods here.

 

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Dairy pays tribute to Max Jelbart

The industry has bid farewell to dedicated
dairy advocate, Max Jelbart who sadly passed away in June.

Mr Jelbart, who farmed successfully in Gippsland and Caldermade, was an admired intellectual who shared his time and knowledge freely.

During his career in dairy, Max served on various industry boards and committees and was a supplier of Murray Goulburn for 38 years – and a director
since 2012.
A Director on the ADF Board for seven years and a past President of the United Dairyfarmers of Victoria’s South Gippsland Branch, Mr Jelbart was this
year presented with an Order of Australia medal for his services to the dairy industry and the community.
A Nuffield Farming Scholar and member of the Nuffield Australia Investment Committee, Mr Jelbart was renowned for seeking out new ways to develop his
capacity as a farmer as well as opportunities to give back.
“Max was extremely passionate about helping to foster the next generation in dairy, and ensuring they had the right tools to grow their businesses,”
ADF President, David Basham said.
“His readiness to share his expertise with industry and the community alike was inspirational – he was a tireless advocate and will continue to be
remembered very fondly.”
On behalf of staff and representative leaders past and present, ADF expressed its deepest sympathies to Mr Jelbart’s family.

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Support for all farmers – no exceptions

Dairy industry leaders are united around a clear objective: to ensure every Australian dairyfarmer has the capability, tools and support to fully understand
their individual business position, and to make decisions about their future based on sound evidence.

The release of Dairy Australia’s Situation and Outlook report last week reinforced that there are tough times ahead – but also that with collaboration,
empathy and leadership, measured policy responses and effective support from government, consumers and our own supply chain, we can work towards
a stronger future.

To prepare for the next season farmers must have earlier and clearer pricing signals, with a more equitable pricing system that better balances risk
along the supply chain of farmers, processors and retailers. Without this, farmers and allied businesses will remain vulnerable. ADF and our state
members continue to urge processors to urgently communicate their opening price as soon as possible.

Commonwealth and State Government support in Tasmania, Victoria and South Australia has bolstered programs to strengthen pathways for dairyfarmers
and enhanced our ability to support the health and wellbeing of our own. We need detail on these announcements as soon as possible and have been
pressing governments to release the criteria for the Dairy Recovery Concessional Loans scheme immediately.

As the industry’s peak body, our longer-term resolution includes significant policy ambitions. We need a more equitable pricing system that better
balances risk along the supply chain of farmers, processors and retailers.

To help farmers here and now it is crucial that the full suite of support measures be available to farmers across all dairying regions, as processors
begin the process of setting milk prices to be paid from July 1. All dairyfarmers, not only Murray Goulburn and Fonterra suppliers, must have access
to these measures. ADF has made this clear in our discussions with Government.

We are aware that the current challenges concern sharefarmers and dairy farm employees too. Dairyfarmers who have previously been ineligible for government
assistance due to their permanent residency status are also on our radar. Ensuring our industry can retain skilled, experienced employees is key
to safeguarding our future – a message we are taking to Canberra, to ensure all aspects of our workforce, and their needs in this unprecedented
circumstance are not forgotten.

As the details are made more clear we will contact our members. We encourage you to keep reaching out to ADF, as well as your state dairy farming organisation
and regional development programs to access support.

David Basham

ADF President

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Unprecedented times calls for unprecedented response

The dairy market shock is the result of unprecedented circumstances, and they require an unprecedented response from our industry.

In a leadership collaboration with our state members , we have driven positive policy
responses and commitments from the Commonwealth and State Governments in Victoria, Tasmania and South Australia.

Australian Dairy Farmers (ADF) have strongly advocated the Commonwealth
for immediate solutions to help farmers, who have been placed in an extremely difficult situation by the actions of these processors.

We believe these Government responses are broadly positive and reflect the immediate needs of the most affected dairy farmers, but we also need to understand
more detail before we can effectively endorse them as being of most value to dairy farming businesses.

ADF sought interest rate assistance for farmers from the Commonwealth and we believe the adapted concessional loan scheme for dairy farmers flagged by
Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce will help address this need.

But we do need more urgency in implementation to support continuity for many farmers.

More resources for Rural Financial Counselling is a significant gain and will help to ensure dairy farmers are making decisions based on the best available
and most accurate information about their business.

Further support for Dairy Australia’s Tactics For Tight Times initiative and streamlined access
to various Government services will also directly benefit farm businesses.

However, we will continue to press for exceptional circumstance recovery grants and to ensure all assistance measures are available to all dairy farmers.

While we understand and support the intent of the proposed dairy price index, we have concerns about how this will work in practice.

And in the dry conditions affecting much of Australia’s dairy production zone, we will continue to press for the release of Commonwealth-owned environmental
water.

While we must manage the here and now, our attention is also looking to the longer-term, to better manage volatility and safeguard the future of our industry.

ADF has always advocated that there needs to be a better balance between retailers, processors and farmers.

We continue to pursue processors and governments to ensure milk agreements from 1 July are more equitable, more fair and more transparent for farmers.
Equitable competition policy is essential to achieving a better in risk between supplier, retailer and processor.

ADF is calling for:

  • All political parties to support an Effects Test in section 46 of the Competition and Consumer Act to assist the ACCC in taking a longer term view
    of issues and discovering the true impact for consumers, farmers and others of strategies undertaken by those with significant market power.
  • Higher penalties and harsher remedies are necessary to deter and reprimand those who misuse market power. Applying a legislated base fine that is a
    significant percentage of the revenue derived from the sales affected by anti-competitive behaviour is warranted.
  • That the Federal Treasurer give direction to the ACCC to undertake an immediate investigation of the pricing of milk at $1 per litre for a potential
    breach of section 46, of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 in relation to predatory pricing, particularly in regional and remote areas.
  • It is important in any commercial relationship that acceptable and ethical business be promoted and undertaken. It is ADF’s belief that enacting a
    statutory duty of good faith in the Competition and Consumer Act will assist in ensuring this takes place. ADF understands that recent case law
    has provided a framework upon which a statutory duty of good faith could be based.

Dairy farmers are not asking for a return to past days of a highly-regulated market, and they are not asking for consumers to be punished with a tax as
proposed by some on the fringe of our industry.

Our industry is resilient, we know about volatility, and with the right support we will be better positioned to manage for long-term profitability and
productivity.

David Basham

ADF President

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ADF not affiliated with milk rally protests

Although Australian Dairy Farmers (ADF) supports any individuals right to peaceful
demonstration, ADF is not in any way affiliated with ‘milk rallies’ being held to protest against milk price cuts.

We appreciate that the protestors are passionate about the dairy industry and finding solutions to help the dairy crisis.

However, we do not believe that this action is the best way to support our industry or find solutions to the challenges we face.

The industry has gained good traction so far in highlighting our plight to consumers, government and the wider community. State Governments in Victoria,
South Australia and Tasmania have listened to us as industry leaders, and provided policy responses in recent days and weeks. This has included another
significant announcement in Victoria today.

We are concerned that rallies will create confusion and detract from the main issue: the financial and emotional wellbeing of our dairy farmers.

ADF continues to be in discussions with both sides of Federal Government on a support package which can be rolled out across the country to affected dairy
farmers. Our goal is this: to advocate on behalf of farmers to get immediate support and prevent the issue from occurring in future.

A rally won’t provide this.

A 50c levy would not deliver a solution for our industry on a whole as it would mean farmers in non-exporting markets (such as Northern NSW, Queensland
and WA) would be subsidising their south-eastern counterparts.

A levy is not viable or practical solution and further to this we have had indications from both sides of government that they would be unlikely to support
it.

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AHA Review of Bovine Johne’s Disease

Throughout 2015 and early 2016 Animal Health Australia (AHA) has been conducting a review
of Bovine Johne’s Disease (BJD) management in Australia. The review has progressed with consultative forums, meetings of a review panel, discussion
papers and a draft framework document.

Information on the AHA Review of BJD can be found via http://www.animalhealthaustralia.com.au/news/latest-information-about-the-national-bjd-strategic-plan-review/

Dairy farmers were represented on the Review Panel by ADF and Dairy Australia and State Dairy Farmer Organisations have had input through the consultations.
Farmer representatives have been present at both the forums and at the consultation meetings held.

AHA released the final framework document in February 2016 – BJD – Where to from here? A Fresh Approach to the Management of Johne’s Disease in Cattle: Management Plan for Cattle Production Conditions.

Major changes in the management of BJD outlined in the final framework document include:

The removal of zoning;

  • Reliance on producers to protect themselves from disease (a biosecurity approach);
  • A market driven approach where producers undertake practices dependant on market requirements;
  • An evaluation of the CattleMAP; and
  • Development of tools and education material.

The dairy industry has provided collective input and feedback throughout the process. The final framework document is a very high-level document and dairy
industry representatives have indicated that further work is necessary to provide detail on how any revised scheme would be implemented.

A Communications Plan and an Implementation Plan for the new BJD approach are being worked on and industry representatives are involved in this work. As
a result of the above, in consultation with State Dairy Farming Organisations, recommended revisions to the Dairy Score developed by ADF and DA have
been endorsed.

The National Dairy Industry BJD Assurance Score will continue to be an important tool for dairy farmers but some refinements may be needed to facilitate
an alternative to Cattle MAP for dairy farmers.

The draft revised Dairy Score is based on the current criteria that supports risk-based trading and provides an extension tool to help farmers understand
how they can achieve higher levels of assurance. The draft revised Dairy Score focuses on biosecurity measures, particularly hygienic calf rearing,
with incorporation of herd tests at the higher levels to monitor and verify the integrity of the Score.

Work is also happening on making the Johne’s Disease Calf Accreditation Plan (JDCAP) available across Australia. The JDCAP is currently only implemented
in Victoria and recently New South Wales.

The JDCAP is a voluntary comprehensive audited program that has been implemented on some dairy farms in Victoria and has been a compulsory part of participation
in the Victorian Test and Control Program since 2003.

For further information, please do not hesitate to contact the ADF Office via (03) 8621 4200.

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Friday 20 May ADF Update

As debate rages about milk price shock in the public sphere, it is essential
that we don’t let the facts about the current challenges our industry is facing go astray.

The decisions made by some major processors, in particular Murray Goulburn and Fonterra, in recent weeks have hit Australian dairy farmers hard.

We can’t change what has happened, but we can work to take charge of the things within our control – that means providing support to equip farmers with
the tools they need to help manage their current situation and finding ways to prevent this issue in future.

Australian Dairy Farmers (ADF) in collaboration with state members and Dairy Australia is providing targeted assistance. I encourage you all to take advantage
of these resources by contacting your Regional Development Program (RDP).

Industry efforts will continue to support farmers during these challenging times, but in order for farmers to get through the short term ADF is seeking
commitments from all parties to back our farmers during this financial crisis.

Ongoing discussion with all political parties, both state and national has delivered positive commitments from State government, particularly in Victoria
and South Australia, to help farmers continue to operate.

We have met with Federal politicians this week to discuss support measures we need here and now, including one off grants for dairy farmers in exceptional
circumstances, increased funding for the Rural Financial Counselling resources and streamlining access to existing government programs. A bipartisan
approach to these solutions is essential.

Our priority remains delivering support for the short term but that doesn’t mean we aren’t considering solutions to prevent this issue from occurring again.

ADF has always advocated that there needs to be a better balance between retailers, processors and farmers. We are working with the Australian Competition
and Consumer Commission (ACCC) to address these concerns. We were pleased to see that the ACCC’s Agricultural Engagement Unit heeded our call to investigate
the processors actions in recent weeks and we will assist with that investigation where possible.

ADF is working with financial institutions to ensure farmers are treated fairly. The ANZ’s announcement is very encouraging, and we are confident other
banks will take a balanced approach, if not provide a similar assistance package.

Farmers have been hit with a number of challenges but with the resilience we know this industry has, and the right support we will work through this and
build a stronger future.

Simone Jolliffe

ADF President 

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United industry essential during challenging times

The past few weeks have presented unprecedented step-downs and claw backs to many farmers. The decisions made by our major processors are extremely disappointing
and many farmers must now make difficult decisions about how to best navigate the current market conditions and support their farm.

Across the industry farmers are angry – and they have every right to be. The situation processors have put them in is completely unacceptable. Farmers
are resilient and they love what they do. But they need certainty to be able to plan and to be able to trust that the prices they are budgeting on
are realistic.

Australian Dairy Farmers (ADF) is working hard on behalf of farmers to signpost help for the short term and find solutions for the long term. This includes:

  • Listening to farmers to make sure we understand what they need most right now. We are working across the industry with our state farming members as
    well as national service provider Dairy Australia to deliver support, whether it be one-to-one financial guidance or mental health services.
  • Talking to processors, to urge them to help suppliers understand the implications for their businesses and to be accountable for this decision. ADF
    is pressing the manufacturers to provide early price forecasting. Farmers cannot plan for their businesses without reliable forecasting.
  • Making daily contact with both sides of Parliament, to explain the current and future challenges farmers face, and to seek commitments for targeted
    assistance.

There are no easy solutions to the challenges we face, but we are examining all options and are considering innovative solutions to build an industry with
a stable, long-term future.

Central to this is finding ways to better manage price volatility across the sector, and urging processors to give greater certainty about milk price in
a fair timeframe.

The support of government will be essential in better understanding the current situation and in delivering an effective response. As an industry, we need
to ensure that we are realistic in expectations and that the solutions we put to them are in the best interests of our farmers and our communities
for the long-term.

Our first priority is to provide practical support for farmers facing difficult decisions right now, to ensure that they can take control of their situation
and make the best choice for their business and family.

Now is the time for our industry to unite, support one another through the tough times, and collectively consider innovative and practical solutions to
help us achieve our vision of sustainable profitability.

Simone Jolliffe

ADF President

For information on programs available through Dairy Australia to help you through the short term challenges click here.

Uncategorized

Support for farmers during tough times

The challenges many dairy farmers will face as a consequence of downgraded
milk prices and ongoing market volatility are of great concern and extremely disappointing.

Many farmers are already experiencing a challenging season due to dry conditions and high water prices – these announcements add further distress.

The health and wellbeing of our farming families and their staff is our number one concern. We encourage farmers to share and seek information among your
networks. Start talking: to your bank, to your accountant, to your field services officer, to your partner, to your staff, to your neighbour.

If you are not a farmer, contact the farmers you know and ask them how they are coping.

The Australian dairy industry is working on a coordinated response for measures to help farmers make informed decisions and cope with their situation.

Discussions with Government, processors and banks are underway to ensure that the short and long term implications of the current situation are understood
and considered.

Already, Dairy Australia is rolling out the Tactics for Tight Times program through its Regional Development Programs (RDPs), which helps provide clarity to farmers about settings and seasonal conditions, and supports
key decision making on farms.

Local RDPs will deliver support programs, and put farmers directly in touch with other services, including mental health organisations.

Programs include one-on-one business assessment and support; technical workshops focused on business analysis and planning, feed and water budgeting, climatic
outlook and cropping/forage strategies; and social and community support programs – including expanding the “Look over the farm gate” program.

Dairy Australia has prepared a guide for Building Emotional Resilience,
listing support resources and also some key tips to help get you through difficult periods (available here: http://www.thepeopleindairy.org.au/announcements/emotionalresiliencefactsheet).

Now is the time for farmers to focus on the things that can be controlled, take a step back, and make informed decisions based on current circumstances.

If you or your dairy business is facing challenging times, help is available from your representative bodies, your state dairy farming organisation and
Australian Dairy Farmers (ADF), as well as Dairy Australia and your local RDP.

For more information on the programs delivered by your local RDP contact the relevant individual listed here.

Please continue to look out for one-another in these tough times.

ADF will continue to provide regular updates on industry initiatives to support farmers through this difficult period.

Simone Jolliffe, ADF President

Uncategorized

Protecting workforce wellbeing

Implementing formal occupational health and safety plans on farm is not just the right thing to do, it can also benefit businesses, guests heard at the
Australian Dairy Industry Council’s (ADIC) Business Breakfast in April.

Addressing an audience of dairy farmers, manufacturers and industry leaders at the event themed ‘Protecting what matters: ensuring the health, safety and well-being of our workforce’,
an expert panel explored the opportunities for dairy to improve its workforce safety and well-being.
The panel included Dairy Australia’s Program Manager for Industry Workforce Planning and Action, Bill Youl, Worksafe Victoria’s Bruce Gibson, Lion’s Leader
for Safety and Well-being Josh Norton, Field Services Manager at Fonterra Robyn Mitchard and Director of the National Centre for Farmer Health, Dr
Susan Brumby. Mr Youl observed that, as well as being the right things to do, safeguarding the workforce makes sense for farm profitability.

“A safe work environment will ensure accidents are minimised, productivity is enhanced and the full benefits of farm and manufacturing facilities realised.
Our physical and mental well-being is intrinsically linked to our industry’s success,” Mr Youl said.

ADIC Chair, Simone Jolliffe encouraged the industry representatives in the room to take leadership and drive a culture shift to safeguard the sustainability
of the industry’s workforce.

“Dairy farms are not typical workplaces. There are many potential risks, and stressful situations – particularly because we are often operating in a family
environment, where there is the added pressure of the day-to-day challenges of running a small business,” Mrs Jolliffe said.

“Dairy Australia is already working with state safety regulators and dairy manufacturers to provide farmers with the tools and training they need to operate
safely. As an industry we need to work more collaboratively to ensure uptake and implementation, to move the workforce from ‘knowing’ to ‘doing’.”

The Dairy Industry’s Sustainability Framework has set targets for the industry to achieve by 2020. One of the targets is 100% of on-farm and manufacturing
workers to have completed Occupational Health & Safety training by 2020. A further target is zero workplace fatalities. Mrs Jolliffe said the industry
is falling behind on both accounts.

“Tragically there have already been two confirmed workplace fatalities in our industry this year. Workplace injuries have also risen. Across Australia,
one in five people suffering with mental health challenges. This is not acceptable. We need to lead the industry in prioritising health, safety and
well-being – for the benefit of our industry.”

The ADIC made a commitment at the breakfast to drive change across the industry through improved collaboration between service providers, processors and
industry representative bodies. For information about occupational health, safety and well-being see www.thepeopleindairy.org.au


The expert panel from left to right, Bruce Gibson, Susan Brumby, Josh Norton, John Versteden, Robyn Mitchard and Bill Youl.

 

Uncategorized

Argibusiness Outlook 2016 to focus on global demand for Aussie produce

The Agribusiness Outlook Australia event will explore the strategies for primary producers to access and leverage the global demand for Australian produce.
With sessions exploring how to access overseas markets, how to establish a reputable brand, and how to strategically position your organisation for
success, this event will provide a platform to share best practice examples, innovative approaches and other strategic ways to secure a profitable
and productive future.

In particular, the event will explore the tools to make Australia the next global supplier, due to the considerable economic expectation pinned on the
growing appetite for Australian produce.
 
High international demand is great news for the security of Australian agribusiness. For example, when Coles dropped Bega Cheese in February for its private
label cheese manufacturing and packaging this could have been detrimental for Bega if it had no further opportunities to access even greater revenue.
 
The dairy producer responded to the change in supply arrangements with Coles by redirecting their supply to other markets, like China, and rapidly growing
their infant formula and nutritional platforms to attract much greater margins. Bega’s Chief Executive, Aidan Coleman, has noted that the strong global
demand for infant formula will offset the loss of the Cole’s contract, estimated to be around $130 million.
 
Prior to the terminated contract, Bega’s share price had surged more than 42 per cent after announcing a joint venture with Blackmores to develop branded
infant formula and sell into China. The positive results attained from the early stages of the Bega/Blackmore partnership indicate a prosperous future
for the two companies, and endless possibilities for Australian agribusiness.
 
However, not all producers could bounce back from such an unexpected loss. Transitioning to high-margin products and bigger markets requires significant
resources and investment. But this does not limit access to overseas markets to only those who hold noteworthy resources.
 
Bulla Dairy Foods are a great example of how even small business can access markets and opportunities overseas. Although it will still be a few years before
Bulla can focus more of their business with China, they are currently preparing by innovating and building a competitive export portfolio to unlock
and maximise the benefits available.
 
The Agribusiness Outlook Australia is a not-to-be-missed forum that will examine, amongst other topics, how to leverage global demand through a diverse
collection of case-studies including from Bega Cheese, Graincorp, Coles and Bulla Dairy Foods, with the overall intention to secure a productive, profitable
and successful future for all Australian agribusiness.
 
For more details about the conference please download the brochure here.
 
Uncategorized

Senate must prioritise Water Bill

The Water Amendment Bill 2015 makes positive strides toward improving the Murray Darling Basin Plan, providing much needed flexibility.

It is essential that the Australian Senate passes the Bill when it returns to Canberra for its sitting starting 18 April. If the Bill does not pass before
the election it will face significant delay, to the detriment of communities and industries in the Murray Darling Basin.

Without the flexibility the Bill provides, the States and Commonwealth will be locked into decisions in June that will likely lead to even more water being
removed from agriculture and the communities that depend on irrigated industries like dairy.

In particular, the proposed amendments deliver more flexible timelines for reviews of the Basin Plan and related changes to the Sustainable Diversion Limit
(SDL), which determine how much water can be extracted from the rivers for human consumption, including agriculture.

The Bill also provides greater trading flexibility for the Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder (CEWH).
This flexibility will deliver positive environmental outcomes while simultaneously giving the community, farmers and manufacturers more certainty on
their access to water supplies.

The dairy industry has strongly lobbied for these changes, and supports their implementation.

Dairy farmers in the Murray Darling Basin have proved flexible users of water, steadily adapting their practices to produce more milk with less water over
the last 20 years.

We need the Murray Darling Basin Plan and the law that sits behind it to have the same flexibility. The Basin Plan is already having a significant impact
on farmers, manufacturers and the rural communities they support, with more to come as recovery deadlines approach.

If we are to continue to adjust to the inevitable changes in water availability and affordability we need a plan with clear, appropriate targets and approaches,
that can also adjust. This will help deliver positive outcomes for the environment, community and industry.

Passing the Water Amendment Bill will provide the Murray Darling Basin community with the confidence that Canberra politicians are willing to improve the
Plan in advance of considering decisions in June.

At this time, the Commonwealth and State Governments will either make or break the Basin Plan. We need the Water Bill to pass to ensure the pending decisions
under the Basin Plan this year are based on a foundation of flexibility.

Let your representatives know the importance of supporting the passage of this Bill through the Senate as quickly as possible by contacting your local,
state and federal parliamentarians. See here to get the details of parliamentarians for your region.

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March 2016 President’s Message

2016 is proving to be a challenging year for dairy farmers. Australian Dairy Farmers (ADF) recently visited members in New South Wales, South Australia and Western Australia, and across the country farmers are confronted with low milk prices,
increased input costs, and dry weather conditions.
This continued volatility is a reminder of how dependent farming is on a lot of things which are outside our control.

Dairy farmers are realists and they are resilient business operators. Adaptability has become critical to successful dairy business ventures. Realistic
solutions frequently involve working to address the issues we can control, while also accepting that some things are outside our reach. What those
solutions look like will differ from one business to another.
 
The Sustainable Farm Profitability Report produced
by the Australian Dairy Industry Council and Dairy Australia last year provides some useful tactical management advice to help safeguard businesses
during this challenging period.
 
Through our discussions with both State and Federal Governments ADF continues to advocate for a more competitive business environment, and ensure access
to the resources essential to dairying. Dairy industry advocacy has seen vital progress of late with the introduction of an ‘effects test’ as well
as a review of the proposed ‘backpacker tax’ and bringing in more flexible water policy. These are important achievements that will help deliver a
more profitable and sustainable industry in the long term.
 
Dairy Australia also has important resources to assist in preparation and recovery from different conditions. Services provided by programs such as the
Tactics for Tight Times provide a good vehicle for analysing the individual business and developing solutions.
 
Integral to this future is ensuring we protect what matters, by working to safeguard the health and wellbeing of our workforce. In recent meetings, both
processors and farmers have highlighted this issue as crucial to the future of our industry. I look forward to identifying ways in which our industry
can support our people’s physical and mental wellbeing with many of you at the Australian Dairy Industry Council’s Business Breakfast in April.
 
With the ongoing challenges our industry faces exacerbated by drought and tough seasonal conditions, I encourage you all to look out for one another and
provide assistance where you can.

 

Simone Jolliffe
ADF President

Uncategorized

ADHIS Update: Dairy cow fertility trends improve

After 20 years of declining dairy cow fertility, the genetic trend has turned around and improved every year since 2011. It is now about 5% higher than
cows born in 2011, and similar to cows born in 1996.

This finding and others are reported in the latest Herd Improvement Report, published recently by the Australian Dairy Herd Improvement Scheme (ADHIS)
and the National Herd Improvement Association of Australia (NHIA).

Michelle Axford from ADHIS said this was an example of the gains that can be made through increased emphasis of fertility in Australian selection indices,
particularly in the Balanced Performance Index (BPI) and Health Weighted Index (HWI).
“We can expect further gains as the focus on fertility in the indices has increased further in the past couple of years,” she said.
“We are now seeing the direct benefits on farm. Cows with higher daughter fertility ABVs get back in calf sooner – that is they have higher 6-week in calf
rates.”
Michelle said the simplest way to improve the genetics of herds for fertility was to choose bulls from the Good Bulls Guide or app with a high Daughter
Fertility ABV (>104). She said recent research had given dairy farmers more choice for bulls with better fertility ABVs and more confidence in those
bulls.
“The reliability of the Daughter Fertility ABV has improved significantly and there are more bulls with much higher Daughter Fertility ABVs to choose from.
This is the outcome of collaborative work between ADHIS and the Dairy Futures CRC,” she said.
To find out more about the changing dynamics of Australian dairy herds, download the Australian Dairy Herd Improvement Report 2015 from www.adhis.com.au.
For more information contact Michelle Axford at ADHIS, ph (03) 8621 4240 or maxford@adhis.com.au.

Uncategorized

Revised labelling progress toward a clearer system

The Australian Dairy Industry Council (ADIC) has acknowledged the revised country of origin labelling system,
announced by the Federal Government yesterday, as a positive move toward providing consumers with a clearer understanding of where their food comes
from.

ADIC Chair, Simone Jolliffe said the industry provided significant feedback to the proposed system to Government, some of which is reflected in the
announced laws.

“We are pleased to see the revised laws will allow for a minimum transition period of two years. This will ease implementation for manufacturers, allowing
stocks of existing labels to run out and help ensure that unreasonable regulatory costs are avoided,” Mrs Jolliffe said.

“It will also allow for the development of an education campaign to properly inform consumers about interpreting the new system, so that they can make
sound choices.”

The ADIC also expressed its appreciation for the opportunity to state the percentage of Australian product under the revised labelling system.

“The increased flexibility of the sliding scale system as well as the accompanying descriptions of Australian ingredient content on packaging is a positive
improvement.”

The ADIC looks forward to reviewing the full detail of the proposed changes to fully understand the impact on Australian dairy products and ensure implementation
of the system works for consumers, customers and the Australian dairy industry.

Uncategorized

2016 PAG meetings in full swing

Australian Dairy Farmers’ (ADF) Policy Advisory Group (PAG) first round of meetings took place in March, identifying priorities for the election year with
in depth discussion about issues continuing to affect farmers’ productivity and profitability.

Markets, Trade and Value Chain PAG Chair, Adam Jenkins said the group has come back refreshed and invigorated about the next 12 months of work.

“2015 saw considerable progress in the Markets, Trade and Value Chain policy focus area, with the implementation of the China-Australia Free Trade
Agreement as well as developments in Competition policy which will foster a stronger business environment for farmers,” Mr Jenkins said.

“Yet the conditions are always volatile for dairy, and we must continue to find ways to build an even more competitive marketplace for farmers to ensure
they can be productive and profitable.”

To set the scene for the key policy issues ahead, Rabobank’s Michael Harvey presented the Markets PAG with the outlook for 2016-17. PAG Chair, Adam
Jenkins, said addressing technical barriers to trade will continue to be a focus of the Markets PAG this year.

On the natural resources front, the Natural Resource Management PAG discussed key issues for the year ahead. A focus of the meeting was the industry’s
climate change policy, with discussions at the meeting engaging both the Climate Change Authority and Minister for Environment, Greg Hunt’s office
respectively.

Water policy will also remain a major focus for 2016. PAG Chair, Daryl Hoey said 2016 is ‘crunch time’ for the Murray Darling Basin Plan.

“Despite the challenges it is faced with, the Murray Darling Basin is a region filled with opportunity for Australian dairy,” Mr Hoey said.

“We need the government to make sound, well-considered decisions to ensure the viability of dairy businesses in this region can continue long into
the future. This remains a top priority for the Natural Resources PAG for the year ahead.”
ADF has five policy focus areas, each with a dedicated PAG comprised of elected farmer members. These groups are led by a farmer appointed Chair, working
in collaboration with ADF policy officers to discuss priorities and strategic direction.

PAGs recommend policy settings to ADF via the National Council and also act in an advisory capacity providing feedback to Dairy Australia, state dairy
farmer organisations (SDFOs), and other bodies like the National Farmers Federation and the Australian Dairy Products Federation.
Stay tuned to the ADF Update for more information about ADF’s PAG meetings as they roll out over 2016.

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