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.