The Australian dairy sector is a vibrant and vital part of the Australian economy. The industry has established itself as a key component of the Australian agricultural sector over decades and has developed a highly sought-after position in a range of markets for the products it produces.
The ability of the Australian dairy industry to adapt and adjust to the changing conditions has been testament to its resilience over many decades. There are many positive characteristics that point toward a positive future.
Market diversity and positioning
- Geographic and farming system diversity that acts as natural risk mitigation to provide a level of insulation from regional climate impacts.
- A vibrant, competitive and diversified pool of over 150 companies who are producing value-added dairy products for both domestic and international markets.
- Long-term domestic and international growth in demand for dairy.
- Consumer support and recognition of the health and nutrition benefits of consuming dairy every day.
- Discerning customers who are prepared to pay a premium for quality Australian dairy products.
- Strong trust and acceptance of the industry due to an understanding and proactiveness in working towards community expectations.
- A close proximity to key growing global markets.
Efficient and resilient
- Demonstrated industry resilience, with the capacity to withstand droughts, bushfires and COVID-19 restrictions – bouncing back with favourable weather and strong farmgate milk prices.
- Flexible farming systems. While the Australian dairy industry is predominantly pasture-based, there are flexible farming systems that allow a farm business to adapt to the variability of our climate and manage financial and operational performance more proactively.
- Highly efficient farmers who have been successfully operating under some of the lowest levels of government support across the OECD which has ensured focus on underlying financial performance and cost competitiveness.
- An improved trading environment for Australian dairy through completion of Free Trade Agreements and the removal of export subsidies via the World Trade Organisation (WTO).
- Opportunities for growth and expansion in many regions based on historical performance without having the same extent of environmental and land use constraints faced by other global competitors.
- High food safety and biosecurity standards coupled with advanced product traceability systems which support Australian products gaining and holding share in key export markets.
- Entrepreneurial farmers who inspire others with how they manage their businesses in the face of changing conditions.
- World-class research and development infrastructure and a focus on innovation across the breadth of the industry.
- A commitment to sustainability and continuous improvement of practices in animal welfare, environmental stewardship and enhancing livelihoods and wellbeing. This is supported by a world-leading sustainability framework covering a wide range of facets across the breadth of the sector.
- A focus on encouraging, supporting and educating the next generation in the industry.