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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

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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.

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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.

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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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ADF meets with government in review of ‘backpacker tax’

After extensive lobbying against the proposed ‘backpacker tax’ and significant concern as to its effect on Australian agriculture, the Federal Government

has undertaken a review of the measure in consultation with affected stakeholders, including ADF.

ADF representatives joined industry partners including the National Farmers’ Federation at a consultation meeting in Sydney on 21 March.

ADF President, Simone Jolliffe said the meeting acknowledged deep concerns across the agriculture sector surrounding the impact of the tax on rural and
regional Australia.

“By undertaking this review of the tax the government has recognised our concerns that the backpacker tax could have an adverse effect on our industry’s
access to a secure and reliable alternative workforce,” Mrs Jolliffe said.

“We believe it is reasonable for backpackers to pay some tax, but the government’s 32.5c tax is too high and will deter backpackers from travelling to
Australia. We look forward to ongoing consultation with government to find a solution that ensures dairy farmers can operate productive and profitable
businesses.”

For further information on the proposed backpacker tax see here.

 

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‘Effects test’ another tool to balance market power

The announcement in March 2016 of an ‘effects test’ will strengthen competition across the grocery supply chain. ADF has advocated strongly for the change
since 2011, which will be included in section 46 of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010.

The provision will be a further tool to help the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) address the current unequal distribution of market
power and encourage transparency to the benefit of producers, consumers and retailers.
ADF President, Simone Jolliffe said she looked forward to working with the government to ensure that the legislation prevents firms with significant market
power from engaging in conduct that has the purpose, effect or likely effect of substantially lessening competition.
“The effects test is another tool to help provide integrity and transparency regarding the impact of retailer actions on suppliers,” Mrs Jolliffe said.
“In conjunction with the government’s introduction of the Food and Grocery Code, which included a large number of ADF’s recommendations, this is a constructive
step toward fostering a more competitive business environment.”
“Further, the appointment of Mick Keogh OAM as the ACCC’s first Agricultural Commissioner and an Agricultural Engagement and Enforcement Unit, highlights
that the government is committed to strengthening competition across the supply chain.”
Mrs Jolliffe said the reforms will support consumers’ interests as well as dairy farmers.
“Moving toward a more objective measure to assess the impact of anti-competitive behaviour will build a more open and transparent marketplace.”

ADF is hopeful that this will assist in preventing damaging practices, including predatory pricing in future.
ADF thanked the Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister, the Treasurer, the Minister for Small Business and the National Party for their strong support and
action on this important reform.

 

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Caring for cows and calves is our first priority

Dairy farmers know that providing a safe, nutritious product starts and ends with caring for cows and their calves. This includes providing them a healthy
diet, regular medical care and the right living conditions.

Part of keeping dairy cows and calves healthy involves separating calves from cows within their first 12 to 24 hours. This is to ensure the calves receive
adequate colostrum, are protected from illnesses, which can be spread by manure from adult cows for example.
Once removed from the cow, calves are raised under shelter with suitable bedding in a clean, safe and warm environment.
In cattle the placenta of the cow keeps the maternal blood supply separate from that of the unborn calf. This prevents the transfer of antibodies from
the cow to the calf before birth. For this reason, the calf is born with limited ability to fight disease.
By bringing the calves indoors, the farmer can make sure they receive at least two litres of colostrum at the first feed and another two litres within
the first 24 hours of life. This ensure the calf can build its immunity. Calves left to suckle are less likely to build up their immunity.
Individual care is the key to a healthy and content calf.
Although many dairy farmers would like to raise male calves on farm, there are currently very limited alternative markets to sell the male calves to. The
most common option for farmers, is to sell them as ‘bobby calves’ between 5 and 30 days of age. Another option is to rear the calves and sell them
as dairy-beef. This option requires significant investment by farmers with the need to provide additional housing, feed and labour.
Our industry is always searching for alternatives, including through sexed-semen to reduce the number of male calves born but this does mean we need to
have a market for the additional female calves. Further, we continue to explore market options for the sale of male calves.
Dairy farmers and the dairy industry understand that the practice of killing calves for the dairy-beef market is confronting. We take care of all animals
on-farm to the best of our ability and in line with best practice; no calf is ever treated as a low-value by-product. Once calves leave the farm, we
expect that they will be cared for and treated in a humane way.
The Australian dairy industry supports the draft Australian Animal Welfare Standards and Guidelines for Cattle as well as the Land Transport Standards and Guidelines.
These were developed in partnership with animal welfare groups and Government, and provide industry with clear animal health and welfare standards.
The dairy industry expects that all persons managing livestock abide by these standards and it is committed to working with farmers to ensure best practice
is observed on farm.
ADF, in collaboration with Dairy Australia, and other industry partners continues to work closely with transporters and the meat industry to ensure our
cows and calves are well looked after. We also continue to work with industry, Government and animal welfare groups such as the RSPCA to ensure the
wellbeing of our herds in all farming systems.
For further information on the Animal Health and Welfare Standards and Guidelines, click here. To view the publication, “Rearing Healthy Calves – How to raise calves that thrive”, click
here.

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What does passing of Dairy Levy Poll Bill mean for levy payers?

The Dairy Levy Poll process is set to be streamlined following the passing of legislation in March 2016 to alter review procedures while retaining
a strong democratic process for farmers.

The passage of the Bill provides certainty around the process for the 2017 levy review process and future reviews. Australian Dairy Farmers (ADF) has
welcomed the passage of the Bill, re-emphasising that this is not about removing Dairy Australia from scrutiny, but instead about streamlining
the process and making sure every levy dollar invested delivers value back to farmers.

ADF thanked the Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, the Hon. Barnaby Joyce and the Department of Agriculture for championing the Bill on
behalf of dairy farmers, who voted to make the changes to the process in November 2015.

The changes mean that instead of a mandatory poll, every five years, an industry advisory committee will review whether there is a need to change the
levy or conduct a poll. If no change in the levy is recommended, there will not be a poll. However, a poll must be held if it is recommended there
be a change in the levy.

The changes also provide a mechanism to allow dairy farmers to request a poll with the support of at least 15 per cent of levy votes.

Now that the legislation is passed ADF will oversee the development of more in-depth procedures for the revised process.

For further information regarding the Dairy Levy Poll process review, visit www.dairylevypollreview.com.au

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Progress and challenges revealed by dairy’s 2015 Sustainability Report

There is a rising demand worldwide for companies and industries to meet the needs of people today without compromising the ability of future generations
to meet their needs.

Australia’s dairy farmers and manufacturers are proud to be part of a global movement which aspires to meet this demand, whatever understanding people
have of sustainability.

One of the ways we demonstrate our whole-of-industry commitment to increasing prosperity for industry and communities, our care for people and animals,
and minimising our environmental footprint is through the Australian Dairy Industry Sustainability Framework.

Established in 2012 to help guide Australian improvement against 11 targets and 41 performance measures the Framework is lead by the Australian Dairy Industry
Council, managed by an industry Steering Committee, and supported by Dairy Australia.

Our 2015 Progress Report shows our improvement, but also our challenges. During 2015 there were several
areas of improvement including:

  • The industry’s efforts in helping the Government to secure Free Trade Agreements with China, Japan and Korea, will help increase our competitiveness
    and profitability;
  • The intensity of waste sent to landfill by manufacturers, which has dropped 46% since 2011, exceeding the target for 2020 several years ahead of schedule;
  • The proportion of farmers with nutrient management plans, which at 58% is on-track to achieve the 2020 target of 80%, having almost doubled since 2013;
    and
  • The reduction in the use of routine calving induction – 88% of farmers do not use it compared to 80% in 2014.

Although we made good progress against some targets, there are others where more progress is needed, such as increasing the proportion of dairy farmers
who are aware of, and implement, the recently agreed (January 2016) standards and guidelines for animal welfare. Currently, awareness stands at 56%
and our target for 2020 is 100%.

There are other areas where the industry’s performance has declined, such as the proportion of people who recognise dairy as a quality product, which slipped
to 69% from a baseline of 72% (the 2020 target is 80%).

To ensure our industry remains current, relevant and accountable in the context of changing global and domestic conditions and expectations, a review of
all the targets, indicators and performance measures in the Framework will be undertaken during 2016.

The review will take into consideration a broad range of emerging issues, stakeholder views, industry priorities, political agendas and global trends.

The ADIC is excited to share our progress thus far – it demonstrates just how powerful dairy can be when the whole supply chain works together toward its
common goals.

We encourage you to take the time to have a look at the key areas that interest you in the online report and look forward to hearing your thoughts.

A snapshot of the Australia dairy industry and our sustainability progress…

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An exciting leadership development opportunity awaits…

Looking for a way to build your leadership capabilities in preparation for further involvement with the industry, and your community? The Emerging Dairy Leaders Program (EDLP) could be the perfect opportunity for you.

The recently announced EDLP provides an outstanding opportunity for potential and current leaders across the sector to build their leadership skills and
capacity to contribute to development of the Australian dairy community.
Australian Dairy Farmers and Dairy Australia have established the program to invest in the development of the industry’s people by further expanding on
existing leadership programs available. 

The program will run over the course of a year, commencing April 26 and concluding April 2017 in Adelaide. The aim of the EDLP is to help emerging leaders
to better understand themselves and others and therefore how to improve their communication skills and teamwork.
The program will feature a variety of learning and networking opportunities—including exposure to leaders and experts as well as challenging assignments.
This provides a rich development experience with long-lasting practical outcomes for participants and the community.
Participants in the program will earn a Diploma of Agribusiness Management from the National Centre for Dairy Education/TAFESA using a variety of learning
tools such as online self-paced study, webinars, peer discussion, workplace and mentor discussions. The EDLP participants will also be eligible to
take part in the Developing Dairy Leaders Program afterward if interested.

All costs associated with education enrollment, travel, accommodation and meals while away from home will be covered by the program.
To apply or for further information head to the People in Dairy website or contract Program Coordinator,
Karen Conrad via 0488 099 891. Applications open on Thursday 10 March 2016 and close on Monday 28 March 2016. 

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Routine Calving Induction* Phase-out

Australian dairy farmers are dedicated to providing a high standard of care for our animals, and to changing practices when in the best interests of our
livestock and to protect the reputation of our industry.

The Australian dairy industry wants to be proactive on measures to support excellent animal welfare outcomes and to meet the expectations of the community,
our customers and consumers. Failure to meet these obligations, risks the introduction of onerous and unrealistic regulations and/or damage to our
reputation and markets.

In April 2015, following a series of meetings with farmers, vets and processors, the dairy industry agreed to work towards the phase-out routine calving
induction nationally. Subsequently, the Australian Dairy Industry Council (ADIC) has introduced a target for 2016 to limit routine calving induction
to 15% of cows per herd.

This target applies unless an exemption is granted. In 2016, exemptions may be granted either by implementing a herd fertility management plan or by obtaining
dispensation for exceptional circumstances beyond the control of the herd manager. An ‘Oversight and Engagement’ Panel will consider requests for exemptions
and grant approvals as appropriate. Whilst there is no legal requirement on dairy farmers to achieve the 15% target in 2016 the dairy industry is seeking
to achieve industry-wide practice that is over and above the legal requirements and is confident farmers will adopt the recommended voluntary industry
targets as the phase-out progresses.

Progress will be monitored and reviewed to inform the revision of annual targets until the phase-out is achieved and no routine calving induction without
exemption for exceptional circumstances beyond the control of the herd manager are performed. The industry will work with farmers, vets and their advisers
to ensure annual targets are achieved. This approach is similar to the successful New Zealand strategy where routine calving induction was phased out
over a period of time using progressively reduced annual limits.

The ADIC and Dairy Australia will continue to work with farmers, veterinarians, state dairy farmer organisations, processors and other stakeholders, to
ensure all timeframes and targets are workable and achievable. We recognise that this involves a significant management change for some farmers.

As the Australian Cattle Veterinarians play a key role in calving induction, the industry has frequently consulted these experts. In mid-February there
was a workshop for cattle veterinarians servicing dairy farms where routine calving inductions are performed. The workshop provided a forum to discuss
the approaches and support required to implement the revised industry policy on routine calving induction and the need to cease late inductions.

Key items discussed were:

  • existing fertility programs such as InCalf, InCharge and Repro Right and additional assistance;
  • the implementation of fertility management plans;
  • the dispensation process; and
  • ongoing monitoring and reporting templates.

The workshop recognised that the tools necessary to improve herd fertility and to phase out routine calving induction are available for both vets and farmers
but that it will not be an easy process and engagement across the industry throughout the whole process is critical. Vets who were unavailable at the
time of the workshop are being contacted by the Australian Cattle Vets and Dairy Australia with information about the phase-out of routine calving
induction.

A particular concern recognised by the industry has been the use of late calving induction.

Late inductions (performed within 4-6 weeks of the due calving date) provide no overall reproductive benefit for the herd and should not be performed except
for the welfare of the cow or her calf. Early pregnancy testing is required by these practices to make sure late inductions are not occurring.

Further information on the phase out of routine calving induction can be found on the Dairy Australia and Australian Dairy Farmers websites.

*Routine calving induction is all non-therapeutic inductions.

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2016 PAG nominations now open: don’t miss out!

Are you a member of Australian Dairy Farmers (ADF) interested in making a contribution to policy for our industry? There are two weeks left to register
your expression of interest in joining one of ADF’s Policy Advisory Groups (PAGs):

  • Markets, Trade and Value Chain;
  • People and Human Capacity;
  • Animal Health and Welfare;
  • Farming Systems and Herd Improvement; and
  • Natural Resources.

PAGs play a key role in setting business objectives for our industry and driving policy formulation. They help to ensure dairy interests are properly represented
at a domestic and international level.
ADF President, Simone Jolliffe said the role of the PAGs was critical to policy formulation for the long-term future of dairy.

“We face many challenges as an industry and have always relied on the vision, passion and participation of people within dairy to help find viable solutions,”
said Mrs Jolliffe.

ADF PAGs recommend policy settings to the 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.

Mrs Jolliffe welcomed and encouraged direct involvement from dairy farmers to drive policy in the right direction.

Expressions of interest close Friday 18 March 2016. For more information and to receive an application form contact schahine@australiandairyfarmers.com.au.


 

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Leading Australian agribusiness executives gather in Sydney this May!

The Australian Dairy Industry Council (ADIC) is excited to partner with the Agribusiness Outlook Australia 2016conference in Sydney on 24-26 May.

Dairy industry representatives are invited to join agribusiness leaders to explore strategic solutions to the key challenges facing agriculture.

ADIC Chair, Simone Jolliffe will be participating as a panellist during two sessions on how to leverage the benefits of free trade agreements for the
agribusiness sector and exploring brand Australia respectively.
Register before 1 April and save up to $300! For more information and to register, visit http://www.questevents.com.au/agribusiness-outlook-australia-2016 or email info@questevents.com.au.

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2016 PAG nominations now open: don’t miss out!

Are you a member of Australian Dairy Farmers (ADF) interested in making a contribution to policy for our industry? There are two weeks left to register
your expression of interest in joining one of ADF’s Policy Advisory Groups (PAGs):

  • Markets, Trade and Value Chain;
  • People and Human Capacity;
  • Animal Health and Welfare;
  • Farming Systems and Herd Improvement; and
  • Natural Resources.

PAGs play a key role in setting business objectives for our industry and driving policy formulation. They help to ensure dairy interests are properly represented
at a domestic and international level.

ADF President, Simone Jolliffe said the role of the PAGs was critical to policy formulation for the long-term future of dairy.

“We face many challenges as an industry and have always relied on the vision, passion and participation of people within dairy to help find viable solutions,”
said Mrs Jolliffe.

ADF PAGs recommend policy settings to the 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.

Mrs Jolliffe welcomed and encouraged direct involvement from dairy farmers to drive policy in the right direction.

Expressions of interest close Friday 18 March 2016. For more information and to receive an application form contact schahine@australiandairyfarmers.com.au.

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Levy poll changes get the go-ahead

The Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, the Hon. Barnaby Joyce, has supported changes to the dairy industry levy poll process, voted on by levy
payers in 2015.

The Bill to amend the current Act was introduced to the lower house on 11 February 2016, and debated on 25 February 2016. Debate in the Senate commenced
on 29 February and ADF currently awaits a final decision on the Bill.

“Australia’s dairy sector is an important and forward-looking industry, with good leadership and a strong vision for its future,” Minister Joyce said.

“Levy payers have demonstrated strong support for these changes, which will simplify and streamline the dairy levy process.”

Mrs Jolliffe said the changes are expected to result in a simpler, less costly levy poll process, while still ensuring accountability in spending levy
funds is retained.

“This means these levy funds can be directed towards vital research, development and extension programs, increasing productivity and profitability
and continuing to strengthen innovation within our industry.”

For more information on the levy poll changes please see www.dairylevypollreview.com.au.

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ADHIS Update: Good Bulls app launches at Australian Dairy Conference

Building on the popular Good Bulls Guide, the new Good Bulls app makes it easier than ever for dairy farmers to identify bulls that match their breeding
priorities.

Drawing from an expansive database of local and international dairy bulls, the Good Bulls App allows bulls to be sorted on Australia’s three breeding indices: Balanced Performance Index (BPI), Health Weighted Index (HWI) and Type Weighted Index (TWI).

Up to 50 filters can be used to find bulls that match your breeding objectives. Bulls can be filtered by any trait (e.g. protein, cell count, fertility
or mammary system) or by semen company, pedigree, genetic characteristics and other factors.

The app provides detailed ABVs on each bull making it easy to compare between bulls and shortlist bulls of interest. Shortlisted bulls can be exported
to a trusted advisor to facilitate semen purchasing decisions.

Dan Knee, who milks 400 cows at Toora, Vic was one of the test users in the app development. “The App is great. It makes it quicker and easier to
identify bulls with the traits that are important to me. It has turned a job that once took hours into a simple, fun task,” he said.

Sarah Saxton, from the Australian Dairy Herd Improvement Scheme (ADHIS), said the app would be updated twice a year with the April and August release
of Australian Breeding Values (ABVs).

The app is available for both iphone and android.
For details on the app visit www.adhis.com.au/goodbulls

 

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February President’s Message

There has been a lot of discussion about investment for a stronger future this month, with a great deal of excitement generated by recent investments in
Australian dairy.

Such investment will have positive impacts for farming communities.Investors may be interested in further value added opportunities for milk processing.
This could be a generator of new growth and development for the whole industry. Investment that passes our foreign investment regulatory tests continue
to the benefit of Australian dairy.

Importantly, our industry recognises that this stronger future depends equally on economic, environmental and social outcomes. Dairy continues to hold
itself accountable by not waiting for change to occur, but by initiating positive change ourselves. The industry’s progress is highlighted by the Sustainability
Framework’s 2015 Progress Report – set to be released shortly via www.sustainabledairyoz.com.au.

It was my great pleasure to discuss the industry’s performance against the key targets with the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources in late February
at the Canberra Dairy Forum, and to share more about our industry’s commitment to retaining our social licence to operate.

I encourage you all to take a look at the Progress Report when it is released in mid-march and provide feedback.

Part of tackling sustainability challenges and helping the industry demonstrate performance to the Australian community, is investing in agile representative
structures. On the heels of a period of significant policy achievement, ADF is in the strongest position it has ever been. Much of this we owe to our
2012 restructure which helped build greater transparency and engagement with key stakeholders, particularly decision makers in government.

We recognise that there is room to further improve our representative models, to ensure that we can continue to effectively advocate on behalf of all dairy
farmers in all dairying regions. The proposed National Farmers’ Federation’s restructure has begun this conversation and ADF looks forward to furthering
this discussion to ensure dairy representation has a future that maintains currency, relevance and accountability.

Simone Jolliffe

ADF President

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Effects test remains priority

Competition law has been the focus of a Government overhaul over the past fiver years, with the intention of preventing situations such as the $1 per litre
milk campaign – a damaging state of affairs for dairy farmers which highlighted the significant imbalance of market power between retailers and suppliers
in the grocery supply chain.

In its discussion paper on the Options to Strengthen the Misuse of Market Power Law, Australian Dairy Farmers (ADF) once
again emphasised the need for an ‘effects test’ to be inserted into Australia’s Competition Law.

Without an effects test the current tactics and actions of the major retailers will continue to result in substantial lessening of competition in the market
place. This means a significant impact on the viability of proprietary branded dairy products, less product variety on supermarket shelves, less choice
and in the long term, higher prices for consumers.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) must be
given the ability to examine the effect of such strategies, with particular emphasis on the impact on competition (including small businesses like
corner stores and regional supply chains), consumer choice, farmer viability and future prices.

Of the six options proposed to amend the current misuse of market power provisions, ADF believes the most practical option proposes that the existing provision
be amended by removing the words ‘take advantage’. The law would be amended with the wording, ‘purpose, effect or likely effect of substantially lessening
competition’ test.

However, ADF does not agree with the inclusion of the ‘purpose’ element due to the practical difficulties of proving purpose. Inclusion of the purpose
element and defence as outlined in the Harper Review recommendation 30 may make the effects test unworkable in reality.

An effects test is in line with competition policy around the world – almost all western nations, except for Australia and New Zealand have an effects
test.

There is strong support for the proposed changes to the effects test, from competition experts, including the Harper Review Panel, the ACCC, former Chairmen
of the ACCC, Rod Sims as well as small businesses, suppliers and farmers across Australia.

ADF will continue to advocate for stronger misuse of market power laws to foster a more competitive business environment. To view ADF’s submission to the
discussion paper, click here.

 

 

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Extreme weather preparation

Extreme weather conditions in February continue to challenge farmers across all dairying regions. Bushfires in Tasmania and Western Australia have impacted
dairy farms. As farm businesses may be affected by elements beyond their control, preparing for threats is essential to protect your family, staff,
livestock and business. ADF’s primary focus is to ensure famers are equipped with fundamental information and to work with its state members with recovery
efforts.

To access resources and tools to help manage extreme weather events, refer to Dairy Australia’s website here.

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ADF opposes backpacker tax

Australian Dairy Farmers (ADF) has joined the National Farmers Federation (NFF) in calling for the Federal Government to halt the proposed backpacker tax.

As part of the 2015 Federal Budget the government announced that from 1 July 2016 all working holiday makers will be taxed at a rate of 32.5 per cent on
all income.

ADF President Simone Jolliffe said that dairy farmers rely on backpackers for vital on-farm roles which cannot be filled locally or to complement their
existing workforce during peak times.

“The dairy industry is suffering a skilled labour shortage which means that we need overseas workers, such as backpackers, when we cannot find suitable
local staff,” Ms Jolliffe said.

“If this tax is brought in as it currently stands, backpackers may choose to travel to other countries such as New Zealand.”

“This would be damaging to the dairy industry, regional communities and the tourism industry, as well as the broader economy.”

Backpackers currently earn, on average, about $15,000 while in Australia, and may be eligible to claim the tax-free threshold.

“ADF believes it is fair and reasonable for backpackers to pay some tax, but 32.5c is excessive,” Ms Jolliffe said.

“We are supporting NFF’s position that 19 per cent, achieved through deactivation of the tax-free threshold, is fairer to both backpackers and the agricultural
industry which relies on them.”

We encourage everyone who understands the significant contribution backpackers make to agriculture to support NFF’s campaign by signing an online petition.

To join the petition, go to https://www.change.org/p/australian-government-stop-the-backpacker-tax

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Trans-Pacific Partnership signed

The official signing of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) in Auckland, on 4 February has been welcomed by the Australian Dairy Industry Council (ADIC).
The signing follows an agreement reached between the twelve negotiating countries on 6 October 2015.

The TPP made some gains made for the Australian dairy industry in improving opportunities in key export markets such as Japan.

The conclusion of the TPP continues a historic period of increased trade liberalisation over the past few years.

Following the signing ceremony, Australia must now go through a domestic ratification process. This means that before any binding treaty action is taken,
the TPP text and a National Interest Analysis will be tabled in Parliament for 20 joint sitting days.

The Joint Standing Committee on Treaties (JSCOT) will conduct an inquiry into the TPP and report back to Parliament on ‘matters arising from the TPP treaty
and related National Interest Analysis and proposed treaty actions presented or deemed to be presented to the Parliament.’

The ADIC will provide a submission to the inquiry.

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January 2016 President’s Message

Welcome to the New Year. I hope you have all had the chance for a short break at least, and are ready to work together to tackle the challenges and
opportunities that 2016 brings.

In recent years, Australian Dairy Farmers (ADF) has strengthened dairy’s ties with Canberra to raise the profile of the issues that matter most to
our farmers. ADF has maintained our reputation of acting apolitically, being accessible to all politicians, and being willing to listen.

This year we will continue to build this profile, while simultaneously building on our capacity to deliver value to members.

So far in 2016, key members of the ADF team have visited members in central New South Wales. In February our CEO will visit Western Australia – to
talk and listen about priorities for the year ahead. These are the first of many 2016 interstate meetings to follow.

I encourage you to take the opportunity and introduce yourself to our team. The passion and commitment that the ADF staff has to help achieve a stronger
future for our industry is evident, and we are all prepared to listen to your thoughts, ideas and constructive feedback.

The beginning of the year has been challenging for farmers. Extreme weather conditions brought drought or very dry conditions in Tasmania, West Victoria,
South Australia as well as savage bushfires in Western Australia. ADF is seeking to assist its state members with recovery efforts. I commend the
efforts of WA Farmers, Western Dairy and Dairy Australia, in providing practical support and counsel to the affected farmers in WA.

Events like these are a timely reminder that so many aspects of our business are affected by elements beyond our control. ADF is committed to ensure
that farmers have the information and resources they need to take control of what they can. Dairy Australia also has a great resource of tools
and information to assist in preparation and recovery.

In February, ADF will host an environmental scanning and industry planning workshop with key stakeholders such as our state members and Dairy Australia.
These sessions will aid in setting our advocacy priorities for 2016, to establish a sound policy platform which ensures we can capitalise upon
growth opportunities delivered by 2015’s advocacy.

I look forward to getting out and about in order to meet with as many members and non-members as possible over the course of 2016 to ensure ADF can
continue to deliver value for the industry.

Simone Jolliffe

ADF President

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Competition policy at a cross roads

January 26, 2016 marks five years since Coles’ supermarket dropped the price of its home brand milk to $1 per litre, igniting a price war with Woolworths
that reduced the value of milk to an unsustainable level.

Australian Dairy Farmers (ADF) has continued calls for the Federal Cabinet to adopt stronger misuse of market power laws to foster a more competitive business
environment.

ADF President, Simone Jolliffe said there have been important breakthroughs for competition policy since 2011.

“The introduction of the Food and Grocery Code, which included a large number of ADF’s recommendations, was a constructive first step toward fostering
a more competitive business environment.

Further to this the Australian Government’s support for key recommendations from the Harper Review of Competition Policy is extremely positive,” Mrs Jolliffe
said.

“ADF also welcomed the announcement in the Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper of $11.4 million over four years to boost the ACCC’s engagement with
the agriculture sector including a new Agricultural Engagement Unit.”

However, Mrs Jolliffe said the industry would continue to advocate for improved transparency regarding the impact of retailer actions on suppliers. ADF
also continues to advocate for the regulating bodies to have the power to prevent predatory pricing in future. 

“ADF also strongly supports the Harper Review’s recommendations for any updated competition and consumer law to include an effects test,” Mrs Jolliffe
said.

“Addressing the misuse of market power is crucial in determining the Australian dairy industry’s future profitability and sustainability.”

Mrs Jolliffe encouraged consumers seeking to show their support for farmers to “buy branded”.

“The more branded milk we buy the more money stays in our dairy value chain. By keeping these dollars in the value chain dairy has the capacity to reinvest
in industry research and innovation – which helps to strengthen our farmers, improving their efficiency and prospects of long term sustainability.

Buying branded means investing in choice for consumers on our supermarket shelves and in the future of our dairy farmers. This Australia Day – show your
support by buying branded.

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New target for routine calving induction in 2016

Key Points 

  • National policy to phase out calving induction
  • Improved breeding programs to lift fertility and support farmers through the policy change
  • Learning from NZ approach
  • Targeted assistance and advice to be provided to farmers impacted

Caring for cows is always a key priority for Australian dairy farmers and our industry. The industry is dedicated to providing a high standard of care
for our animals, and to changing practices when in the best interests of our livestock.

In April 2015, following a series of meetings and consultation with farmers, vets and processors the dairy industry agreed to phase-out routine calving
induction nationally.

Revised Policy

Australian Dairy Farmers (ADF), Dairy Australia, vets and processors have since been working on implementing the revised policy which is:

“ADF does not support routine calving induction and will work to phase it out through improved herd improvement practices, tools and technologies.”

Calving induction is already reducing in Australia and the dairy industry’s breeding programs such as InCalf and the improvement of fertility by genetic
selection are making a difference.

A Steering Group, including dairy farmers, representatives from the Australian Cattle Veterinarians, Dairy Australia and the Australian Dairy Products
Federation (ADPF), was established to progress the phase-out.

A data survey of veterinary practices performing inductions was undertaken in 2015. The results confirm estimates from previous farmer surveys that the
number of cows induced is declining. It is estimated that in 2015 less than 1.5% of the national herd were induced (approximately 24,000 cows) however
there is considerable variation between farms and regions.

The industry is now working to reduce even further the number of cows induced.

Target for 2016

After reviewing the 2015 induction data, ADFwill introduce a target for 2016 that routine calving induction will be limited to a maximum of 15% of cows
within a herd unless a dispensation has been granted.

The 15% limit will apply unless a fertility management plan has been implemented or dispensation is granted for exceptional circumstances beyond a farmers
control such as herd health issues, severe weather events (floods, fire), AB failure as well as other issues.

An ‘Oversight and Engagement’ Panel including representatives from ADF, the Australian Cattle Vets and ADPF has been formed. The panel, with support from
Dairy Australia, will establish guidelines and consider requests for exemptions exceeding the 15% target set for 2016. Whilst there is no legal requirement
on dairy farmers to achieve the 15% target the dairy industry is seeking to achieve industry-wide practice that is over and above the legal requirements
and is confident farmers will adopt the recommended voluntary industry targets as the phase-out progresses.

Farmers will apply to the Oversight and Engagement Panel via their vet for special dispensation to carry out inductions in excess of the 15% limit for
routine calving inductions.

The Steering Group will work with the Oversight and Engagement Panel to monitor progress and review the target each year in order to establish updated
annual targets.

Industry Programs

Improving herd fertility is a fundamental requirement to reduce the need for routine calving induction and it also delivers many benefits for farm profitability
and resilience. The industry is working closely with veterinarians and reproduction advisors to ensure advice and services are available to assist
farmers with fertility management.

Industry programs such as InCalf, the Repro Right network and InCharge Workshops will be enhanced and the industry will provide targeted reproduction advice
to those farmers most in need.

New Zealand

The New Zealand dairy industry has phased out routine calving induction over a period of time and has banned the practice as of 1 June 2015. The industry
is liaising with counterparts in New Zealand to understand and learn from their approach; in particular the setting of annual limits with a dispensation
process.

Late Calving Induction

A particular concern recognised by industry has been the use of late calving induction. ADF is aware that several veterinary practices no longer perform
late calving inductions, as they provide no reproductive benefit. Late inductions (performed within 4-6 weeks of the due calving date) provide no overall
reproductive benefit for the herd and should not be performed except for the welfare of the cow or her calf.

Early pregnancy testing is required by these practices to make sure late inductions are not occurring.

ADF will continue to consult with farmers, veterinarians, state organisations and other stakeholders to ensure that the timing, process and outcomes are
right for animals and farmers.

*Routine calving induction is all non-therapeutic inductions

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ADIC re-forms Water Taskforce

Over the course of 2015, the Australian Dairy Industry Council (ADIC) increased its advocacy focus on the impacts of the Murray Darling Basin Plan (MDBP)
and the need for changes to the Plan and its implementation.

Significant achievements were made in 2015 with the Federal Government committing to legislation to cap water buybacks in the MDBP at 1500 gigalitres (GL).
Further, indications that more flexibility will be provided for environmental water trading were welcome. However, the ADIC still has concerns regarding
the MDBP’s unrealistic timelines as well as a lack of planned transition and structural adjustment.

2016 is a critical year in the Plan’s implementation. The deadline for the Sustainable Diversion Limit (SDL) adjustment mechanism is imminent. Progress
with state offset projects leading up to this June 2016 review is also of significant concern.

Secure access to quality water is paramount to dairy’s future. Reduced access to the water resources the industry relies on will impact dairy’s profitability,
productivity and international reputation. To ensure that the dairy industry’s key priorities are effectively represented and addressed in this discussion,
the ADIC has re-formed its Water Taskforce.

The ADIC Water Taskforce, chaired by Victorian dairyfarmer Daryl Hoey, provides a cross-industry group to support the ADIC in driving for pro-dairy solutions
in current and future opportunities for review and change.

The priorities of the Taskforce for 2016 are to seek a review and delay the 450GL ‘upwater’ as part of a stock take to better understand the effects (both
positive and negative) of water recovery. Further, the Taskforce will also push for the delivery of the full 650 GL in environmental offsets to ensure
any shortfall does not have to be covered by farmers. Other targets include a more transparent water market and information as well as ongoing monitoring
and support for regional and state water programs including the Northern Basin and Menindee Lakes and Connections Reviews.

For further information about the ADIC’s Water Taskforce contact the ADF Office via (03) 8621 4200.

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Trade reforms a positive kick start for 2016

Over the course of 2015, Australian Dairy Farmers (ADF), together with state members and industry partners has worked collaboratively with government to
broker new trade deals which increase access to key Asian markets hungry for safe, clean and sustainable Australian dairy produce.

ADF welcomed the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement (FTA) which entered into force on 20 December 2015, followed quickly by a second round of tariff
reductions on 1 January 2016.

Also on New Year’s Day, the Korea-Australia FTA progressed to its third year of benefits for dairy exporters, meaning further tariff reductions and increased
quotas for a range of Australian dairy exports.

Similarly, the Malaysia-Australia FTA moved into its fourth year of implementation, translating to further increased liquid milk tariff rate quotas. The
Thai-Australia and US-Australia FTA’s also celebrated a milestone in passing the 10 year point, and provided improved duty free quotas for Australian
dairy.

Further to this, the finalisation of the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations in late 2015, plus the late December announcement of an agreement to abolish
government subsidies on agricultural exports through the World Trade Organisation.

The Australian dairy industry still faces challenges in its export focused markets, especially with regard to technical barriers to trade which translate
to higher production costs, reduced product returns and restricted export demands all combine to lower milk returns for farmers.

With these challenges in mind, ADF is celebrating the progress made in trade reform to the long-term benefit of our industry. This progress boosts the
industry’s competitive position in the global market and contributes to building confidence to invest in a strong future for Australian dairy.

For more information on ADF’s Markets Trade and Value Chain priorities, click here.

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ADHIS Update: The power of herd improvement in the palm of your hand

A world-leading smart phone app developed by the ADHIS and Dairy Australia to help farmers
choose bulls to meet their breeding objectives is now available to download, free for dairy farmers and advisors.

The Good Bulls app has been designed in close consultation with dairy farmers and advisors and builds on the popular Good Bulls Guide. The app, which can
search from over 20,000 bulls, allows farmers and advisors to search, filter, short list and export bulls based on Australian Breeding Values and Australia’s
three indices.

ADHIS Extension Officer Sarah Saxton has led the team that helped create the Good Bulls app. She said the app will be an invaluable tool to access bull
information anywhere at any time, so farmers can take charge of their herd.

“The Good Bulls app really puts the power of herd improvement in the palm of your hand by giving users on-the-go access to over 20,000 bulls and the ability
to enquire about prices with their supplier at the click of a button” Ms Saxton said.

“It’s quick and easy. Select your index and shortlist bulls based on the traits you want to improve in your herd using the Good Bulls app”

The Good Bulls app answers a strong desire by farmers and advisors to be able to filter and sort bulls based on their preferences and to improve profit
in a fun and easy way.

Sarah says “We conducted over 20 hours of one on one interviews with a range of farmers and advisors in the design of the app so we are confident this
is going to be an essential tool for the industry”.

The Good Bulls app is available for both iPhone and Android phones.

For details on how to download the app visit www.adhis.com.au/goodbulls

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WA Bushfire Appeal

Since bushfires began burning in Western Australia (WA) in the week of 4 January, fires
have significantly affected the Waroona-Harvey dairying region. Now three weeks on from the devastation, recovery assistance for farmers is the primary
focus.

To support the recovery effort, WAFarmers has established a hay drive and is managing a relief appeal to collect cash donations for affected farmers. One
hundred per cent of the funds raised through the WAFarmers Fire Appeal will go directly to farmers; ensuring financial assistance is available to farmers
for tasks including the rebuilding of fencing and the purchase of feed.

WA’s Dairy Industry bodies, including WAFarmers and Western Dairy, have commenced preliminary assessments. There are approximately 20 dairy farms with
direct fire damage and many more continue to be impacted by loss of power, burnt pasture and feed supplies.

Fencing is an immediate concern, with the fires destroying over 800 kilometers of farm fences, as well as loss of pasture and newly sown crops. There have
been few reports of dairy stock loss to date.

Funds received through the WAFarmers Fire Appeal will be used directly to benefit farmers. Farmers do not have to be a member of WAFarmers to be able to
receive assistance from the funds. We encourage the public to show support for the WAFarmers Fire Appeal.

The GoFundMe account can be accessed here.

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Introducing ADF’s New Director’s…

Australian Dairy Farmers (ADF) is pleased to welcome new Business Director, Terry Richardson and Independent Director, Dr Dedee Woodside, alongside recently
elected President, Simone Jolliffe to the ADF Board following the ADF Annual General Meeting on 26 November 2015.

With significant experience in various agriculture roles, as well as through their diverse industry leadership and advocacy roles, both Board members are
exceedingly well qualified for their Board position, each bringing a unique perspective to the table.

ADF interviewed each Director to find out a bit more about them. We asked them what they believe the most important policy issues are for ADF to focus
on in 2016…

Terry Richardson

As a native New Zealander I have great appreciation for the vast geographical challenges that Australian dairy farmers face. As a dairy farmer I know that it is difficult to prepare and mitigate these challenges unless we are building sustainable business models. In order to achieve this it is essential to be profitable. For these reasons I believe the short term and long term goals of ADF are intrinsically linked.

Our policy focus will always be set by what stands in the way of building a stronger future for our industry. This will mean the continued implementation of projects that propel us toward the industry’s vision to become prosperous, trusted and world renowned for nutrition.

In order to help achieve this vision, ADF can develop its communication of the role policy plays in helping us be profitable. Price will always be on the front page, but policy is always bubbling away behind the scenes – we often don’t hear much about it. Yet without strong policies that address everything from competition issues to research and development funding, it is impossible for our industry to be profitable. For this reason I am keen to work with ADF to continue to build our members and non-members’ understanding of how important policy is to what we do.

Through key achievements such as the pro-dairy China-Australia FTA we have seen how effective our industry is when united – we must continue this unity in order to see improved policy outcomes for our industry in future.

Dr Dedee Woodside

Dairy’s central focus for 2016 appears to increasingly be on water, soils and energy – and the availability, quality and sustainability of these resources.

I am attracted to the idea that with such a buzz around environmental responsibility and impact at the moment there is a real opportunity for the Australian dairy industry to make some headway on issues of concern to our farmers, processors and consumers. In particular with the recent Paris Climate Summit and the Australian Government’s commitment to energy targets we can highlight that this isn’t an overnight process. Our industry needs strong thought and planning to ensure we are achieving our environmental targets in a way that is reasonable and practical.

Already the industry has begun on this path, particularly in light of the growing opportunity in overseas markets and talk of expanding production. I am interested to contribute to this discussion, to understand whether growth is really a viable option and to understand what the limits are; where we can be smarter about our operations and where we need to change tactics entirely.

I am excited to be a part of ADF’s journey under a new President, Simone Jolliffe and a part of an industry that is growing, changing and opening up. The next few years will be very interesting.

ADF President, Simone Jolliffe welcomed the new additions to the Board and said she looks forward to working with them in 2016.

“Their vision and ideas will help ADF in its work to promote the interests and sustainable profitability of all Australian dairy farmers,” Mrs Jolliffe
said.

For more information on ADF’s Directors see
www.australiandairyfarmers.com.au

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Give thanks for dairy farmers this Christmas…

With Christmas only two sleeps away, it’s time to reflect on the role that dairy farmers (and for that matter all farmers) plays in the festive season.

We’re all looking forward to the cheese platters, custard, ice cream and all manner of other festive trimmings this holiday period. All of those tasty
dairy products have been produced by the dairy farmers of this country, which is milked and processed even as we unwrap our presents from Santa on
Christmas morning. Milking takes place every day of the year, irrespective if public holidays or religious festivals. Aussie farmers do this to ensure
that there is always milk in our fridges – 365 days a year.

So as you tuck into your Christmas pudding and add custard, butter or cream remember to thank an Australian dairy farmer who got up early to produce it.

Merry Christmas from Australian Dairy Farmers!

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Increased support for financial counselling in drought stricken regions

More support has been announced for financial counselling in drought-stricken regions in New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Victoria and Western
Australia. An extra $920,000 in funding has been provided for Rural Financial Counselling Service (RFCS) providers in those States to continue to help
farmers battling drought.

The funds are in addition to the $14.3 million Commonwealth funding already allocated to the RFCS programme in 2015-16.

Australian Dairy Farmers (ADF) has welcomed this support, acknowledging the financial counselling service as a vital part of supporting dairy farmers through
challenging times, including drought. ADF highlighted that the service helps people take control of their business again rather than allowing their
business to take control of them.

Agriculture needs as many financial counsellors as possible across rural Australia according to ADF, particularly as drought continues to challenge many
dairy regions.

The RFCS can support farmers with business planning, farm debt mediation and helping them access sources of professional, industry and government assistance.
The services can vary from one ten-minute phone call with a person to on-going support across a number of years.

The additional funding provided by the Commonwealth Government toward the counselling initiative will be crucial over the coming months as the pressures
of drought compound continue.

ADF encourages farmers to utilise the service and to keep in contact with neighbours who may be struggling during this time.

To find out about RFCS offered in your region contact your State Dairy Farming Organisation or visit http://www.ruralfinancialcounselling.org.au/.

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Water Act Review Progresses but more still to be done

The Coalition’s response to the independent review of the Water Act 2007 was released in December 2015. The Government’s decision to adopt all of the recommendations,
some wholly and others partially, including to provide greater trading flexibility for the Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder (CEWH),
is positive new for Australian dairy farmers.

The Australian Dairy Industry Council (ADIC) has lobbied hard for increased flexibility for the CEWH in optimising environmental outcomes in ways that
ensure dairy producers have better access to water supplies. Dairy has proved a flexible and responsible user of water. We have adapted our practices
to be more water-efficient. However, reduced access to water resources is already putting pressure on dairy’s productivity and profitability. This
CEWH flexibility is key to helping our industry remain viable. It will also ensure a balanced approach to achieving environmental outcomes in the Murray
Darling Basin.

The Government’s stated commitment to continue to work towards achieving a total 650GL supply offset is also positive. Achieving the full amount through
environmental works means more water stays in the irrigation pools.

Chair of the ADIC’s Basin Taskforce, Daryl Hoey described the response as a positive first step but highlighted greater improvements in the implementation
of the Act and the Murray Darling Basin Plan are still required.

“That the Government didn’t agree with the submissions of many to amend the Act to unambiguously state a triple-bottom-line objective or to strengthen
the current implementation of the legislation is of concern. Such an approach is critical,” Mr Hoey said.

“It’s good to see the Government amend timelines to some evaluations and reviews under the Act. We now need such revisions to be applied to all elements
of the Act.

“In particular, there is a need for a robust evaluation of environmental, economic and social impacts before considering an additional 450 gigalitres (GL)
of water being taken from agriculture.”

To see the ADIC submission to the Water Amendment Bill 2015 click here.

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Tribute to Howard Lee

The industry bid farewell to dedicated dairy advocate, Howard Lee who sadly passed away on his way home from a meeting of NSW Farmers on the Mid North
Coast in late November.

Mr Lee, who was born in Kempsey on 10 October 1939, was an inspirational man who was admired by many. A keen industry representative, Mr Lee was part of
the NSW Farmers Dairy Committee for many years and held several other roles with the industry body, including on the NSW Farmers Executive Committee.

Mr Lee was a passionate community leader for Kempsey. For over five years he was a member of the Mooneba-Turners Flat Rural Bush Fire Brigade, which began
with a tractor and trailer. He was also President of the Kempsey Show Committee and former director of the Kempsey Heights Bowling Club.

Colleagues at New South Wales Farmers recall Mr Lee as a gentle, smiling man and a well respected community leader. Fellow North Coast NSW Dairy Committee
member and long-time friend of Mr Lee, Julie Moore described him as a real “go-getter”.

“Howard was always looking for a way to improve things for dairy farmers and to promote the good practices of dairy. He was particularly keen to see farmers
get a better milk price,” Ms Moore said. “He was a passionate advocate. He will be greatly missed.”

On behalf of the dairy industry, ADF extends its deepest sympathies to Mr Lee’s wife Shirley as well as his friends and family.

NSW Dairy Committee member, Howard Lee is remembered as a “go-getter” with a gentle spirit.

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Australian dairy industry welcomes ChAFTA entry into force

The Australian Dairy Industry Council (ADIC) has welcomed the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA) entry into force on 20 December 2015.

ADIC Chair, Simone Jolliffe said the dairy industry was extremely pleased that the historic agreement has been ratified before the end of the 2015 calendar
year.

“The entire dairy value chain, led by the ADIC, has lobbied strongly for the implementation of ChAFTA and we are pleased to see its entry into force,”
Mrs Jolliffe said.

“On 20 December, Australian dairy exporters experiences the first year’s tranche of tariff reductions. This will be followed by a second round of tariff
cuts on 1 January 2016.”

“In the long term this will mean more jobs across the Australian dairy industry both on farm and in processing plants. It will provide our industry with
the confidence it needs to invest for a strong future.”

The ADIC thanked the Minister for Trade and Investment, Andrew Robb, and his team of negotiators as well as the Australian government, industry and the
broader dairy community for its ongoing support and for ensuring the deal will be ratified in the 2015 calendar year.

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Have You Responded to the Regional Wellbeing Survey Yet?

Open until the 31 December, the 2015 Regional Wellbeing Survey forms an important piece of social research that farming organisations and government agencies
draw on to understand farmers’ views and social impacts on a range of regional issues.

This year’s survey covers issues such as drought, water reform, green tape, CSG and mining, sustainable farming practices, markets, farm finance, and innovation.
With more than 9000 respondents in 2014, the survey results to provide a sound statistical policy resource.

For more information and to complete the online survey visit: http://www.regionalwellbeing.org.au

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Voters say “yes” to Levy Poll Process Review recommendations

The results of voting on the Dairy Levy Poll Process Review were delivered on
2 December 2015, with the majority of voters in favour of the recommended changes. The levy payer vote drew 24.70% of votes, with 89.95% voting in
support of the recommended changes.

ADF President, Simone Jolliffe said the Federal Government has now be advised of the outcomes of the three month consultation process.

“The essential question was whether levy payers believed we should opt for a levy poll only when a change in the levy was being sought,” said Mrs Jolliffe.

“Every levy payer has been contacted through the consultation process. They’ve been provided opportunity to comment and to vote for or against the recommendations
of the review. The most significant recommendation is that a levy poll should only be held if a change to the levy is proposed.

“The response from levy payers including through the vote, which closed on Friday 27 November, provides a strong signal that dairy farmers believe the
industry should make the changes to the levy poll process.”

Once the changes are made, if farmers believe a poll is necessary, there is a failsafe mechanism for a group of levy payers representing at least 15 per
cent of levy votes to call a Dairy Australia general meeting and propose a resolution that a poll be held.

“Against the benchmark of a shareholder vote, the consultation and voter turnout for this review demonstrates significant engagement and support by levy
payers,” Mrs Jolliffe said.

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World Soil Day: Farmers, soil stewards

Saturday 5 December, is World Soil Day. The Food and Agriculture Organisation
of the United Nations kicked off World Soil Day of recognition in 2002, and we’re using the occasion to celebrate the role healthy soils play in building
productive and profitable farms.

By getting the trace elements in the soil right, farmers on Australian dairy farms often find they have the potential to drive increased milk production
higher.

Regular soil testing is necessary to make informed decisions on fertiliser use and soil management and the interpretation of soil test results is key to
making the most cost-effective fertiliser choice. Dairying for Tomorrow’s Fert$mart program includes a range of tools to help advisers and farmers
get soil “right” and make informed, cost-effective fertiliser management decisions.

Australian Dairy Farmer’s (ADF) Natural Resources Policy Advisory Group Chair, Daryl Hoey said insufficient fertiliser negatively impacts on pasture growth.
This means less pasture and means farmers have to increase supplementary feeding or reduce stocking rates. Too much fertiliser, or fertilising at the
wrong time means wasted resources.

“The key is to have the balance in soil just right so that nutrients are available for optimal pasture growth and are not lost in run-off into waterways
and dams,” Mr Hoey said.

Soil health can also be improved by the implementation of a well-managed effluent system. Effluent is a valuable resource for reducing fertiliser costs,
increasing soil fertility, adding organic matter to soil and providing valuable nutrients and moisture to crops and pastures.

“We now have a better understanding of effluent management than ever before,” Mr Hoey said. “The industry has moved away from a waste product mentality
to taking a resource utilisation approach and, as a result, not only do we have improved productivity on farm, we are leaving our soils in better condition
now and for future generations.”

Australia’s dairy farmers have always had a strong commitment to environmental sustainability with industry bodies such as ADF and Dairy Australia coordinating
a range of industry programs to help farmers manage fertiliser use, improve soil health and minimise the impact of effluent.

The dairy industry’s sustainability framework Mr Hoey explained, underpins the whole of value chain effort to minimise the environmental footprint of dairy.

“The framework has been used to identify priority areas, goals and objectives for sustainability,” said Mr Hoey. “It sets the scene for industry programs
like Fer$mart and farmer investment and practices to deliver better results for both farmers and the environment.”

“Dairy farmers have a real commitment to managing land and water responsibly, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and protecting natural resources for future
generations,” said Mr Hoey.

“And as a bonus, many farmers are finding that, with proper soil and fertiliser management, they can produce more feed at no extra cost.”

To find out more about the role healthy soils play on Australian dairy farms take a look here.

Uncategorized

Mr John Harlock appointed as ADHIS Chair

Australian Dairy Farmers (ADF) is pleased to announce the appointment of Victorian dairy farmer, Mr John Harlock as the incoming Chairman of the Australian
Dairy Herd Improvement Scheme (ADHIS). ADHIS is the national dairy genetic evaluation organisation that provides Australian Breeding Values (ABVs)
and other objective information about the genetic merit of dairy cattle. As an ADF initiative, ADHIS receives the majority of its funding Dairy Australia
through the Dairy Service Levy.

John operates a 350 cow dairy farm near Warrnambool with his wife, Shirley. John has held positions on a number of dairy industry boards including the
Warrnambool Cheese & Butter Company, Genetics Australia, Western Herd Improvement and Warrnambool Co-operative Society, has also served on the
ADHIS Board for eight years. As a member and former branch president of the United Dairyfarmers of Victoria, Mr Harlock has a strong understanding
of the broader dairy industry and the issues faced by farmers.

ADHIS CEO, Daniel Abernethy thanked outgoing chair, Mr Adrian Drury who has decided to step down to focus on the adoption of new technology in his dairy
business on the north coast of New South Wales.

“Adrian has lead ADHIS through one of the most sustained periods of intense development in the organisation’s thirty year history,” Mr Abernethy said.
“Under his leadership ADHIS has seen the successful implementation of genomics, the launch of the Good Bulls Guide, a world-first Feed Saved ABV and
the complete review of the National Breeding Objective.”

“We thank Adrian for his service and wish him all the best in his future endeavours.”

For more information contact ADHIS via (03) 8621 4200 or www.adhis.com.au.
Uncategorized

Mistreatment of animals unacceptable to Australian dairy farmers

On
30 November 2015 video footage prepared by New Zealand animal rights group ‘Farmwatch’ aired on national television in New Zealand. The footage exposed
incidents of appalling treatment of calves at different points along the New Zealand bobby calf supply chain.

The Australian dairy industry has been shocked by the cruelty shown in the footage. Any mistreatment of animals, including this cruel behavior, is completely
unacceptable.

Australian Dairy Farmers (ADF) and its farmer members take their responsibilities for animal welfare seriously and are committed to continuous improvement
in their animal husbandry practices. All animals, including calves must be treated with care.

This footage in no way represents reality for the majority of people in the Australian dairy industry responsible for calves and cows. We want to reassure
our customers and consumers to know we are actively engaging with farmers, manufacturers and transporters to ensure such practices do not happen on
Australian dairy farms.

The Australian dairy industry supports the draft Australian Animal Welfare Standards and Guidelines for Cattle as well as the Land Transport Standards
and Guidelines. These were developed in partnership with the animal welfare groups and Government, and provide industry with clear animal health and
welfare standards.

The dairy industry expects that all persons managing livestock abide by these standards and is committed to working with farmers to ensure best practice
is observed on farm.

ADF, in collaboration with Dairy Australia, and other industry partners continues to work closely with transporters and the meat industry to ensure our
cows and calves are well looked after. We also continue to work with industry, Government and animal welfare groups such as the RSPCA to ensure the
wellbeing of our herds in all farming systems.

For further information regarding this matter, please see the DairyNZ and Federated Farmers joint statement here

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