More than 200 of Australia’s leading dairy representatives from across the whole value chain, gathered in Melbourne this morning for the annual Australian Dairy Industry Council (ADIC) Leaders Breakfast.
Centred on the theme “The dairy domino effect: leading healthy, sustainable, profitable communities”, the event explored the interdependent nature of dairy’s future success and building recognition for the industry’s social and economic value.
Guest speaker and rural sociologist, Dr Neil Barr told industry leaders that the decline in farmer populations over the past decade posed no threat to the future of Australian dairy.
“Dairying is the future for young farmers in Australia. The demand for opportunities is there, the industry just needs to work on developing the pathways to get them involved.”
Outgoing ADIC Chair, Noel Campbell highlighted that new opportunities for growth and prosperity brought with them the responsibility to demonstrate dairy’s value to people, the land, livestock and the global community.
“Today we celebrate the enormous contribution Australian dairy makes to economic and social wellbeing; its quality, diversity and the part it plays in building vibrant communities across the country,” Mr Campbell said.
“The extent to which the Australian community understands the story behind the tubs of yoghurt and flavoured milk in their fridges will directly impact their trust and investment in our industry’s future. We need to share our industry’s story with our communities, our consumers and our customers if we are to achieve our 2025 Dairy Vision: prosperous, trusted and world renowned for nutrition.”
“Collectively, dairy demonstrates its value through initiatives such as the Dairy Industry Sustainability Framework, as well as the search for the Legendairy Capital. It is essential that our industry continues to build on such initiatives,” Mr Campbell said.
Guests also heard from a panel including Senator Richard Colbeck, Corangamite Councillor Chris O’Connor, CEO of Bega Cheese Barry Irvin, Co-owner of Myrtleford Butter Factory Naomi Ingleton and Gipps Dairy Director Dr Sinead De Gooyer. The panel considered Australia’s dairy commitment to sustainable practices and ensuring it remains a productive partner with the Australian community.
The overwhelming message from the panel was that as Australia’s number one value-adding agricultural industry dairy has a responsibility to demonstrate its commitment to healthy, sustainable and profitable communities.
Shona McPherson, Media Officer
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