Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Where is the Australian dairy industry heading?

Horizon 2020 is a report that identifies the factors likely to affect the future role, position and structure of the Australian dairy industry.

The report presents 12-months research by a working group of dairy farmers, industry analysts and food safety experts. Extensive consultation was undertaken in Australia and internationally, with dairy and food industry participants, key influencers and opinion leaders. 

The study was jointly funded by Dairy Australia and the Geoffrey Gardiner Dairy Foundation, with the support of Australian Dairy Farmers Limited (ADF). The three organisations have been looking at ways to integrate the report’s findings into their programs and to fill knowledge gaps identified by the working group.

Max Roberts, Chair of Dairy Australia said: “The Horizon 2020 analysis will be vital in informing Dairy Australia’s strategic planning process and future program decisions. These are the result of a thorough process that enables us to lift our heads above the ‘here-and-now’ and look to the future in an informed manner.”

Major issues facing the Australian dairy industry range from future climate and market volatility, political instability affecting trade, through to the commercialisation of new technologies aimed to improve dairy productivity, according to the report. The Horizon 2020 working group is now meeting peak industry bodies, processors, banks, government, Regional Development Programs and state dairy farmer organisations – to communicate the findings of the report.

“With its focus on long-term industry priorities, the recommendations of Horizon 2020 will be a key resource in guiding the industry and the Gardiner Foundation in determining cohesive future strategic funding directions,” said Michael Taylor AO, Chairman of the Geoffrey Gardiner Dairy Foundation.

President of ADF, Mr Noel Campbell said: “The Horizon 2020 report has challenged the dairy industry to reinvigorate our efforts in many areas. By keeping our eyes on the types of issues raised by the Horizon 2020 working group, the Australian dairy industry will be better-positioned into the future.”

The Australian dairy industry has lost the ability to successfully manage and grow dairy farm wealth over time


Horizon 2020

The report identifies that the Australian dairy industry sits at crossroads. It hasn’t grown as an industry over the past decade and has a diminished global standing and reputation. "Due to climate and market volatility, the industry has been faced with an increasingly complex set of management and technical issues on farm. While investing to respond to issues , in general it has lost the ability to successfully manage and grow dairy farm wealth over time through inevitable commodity cycles."

The report identifies that growth in demand for dairy products is likely to outpace milk supply growth over the next decade.

Over the next decade the developing world is expected to increase its annual demand for milk powder imports by 29%.  

If the Australian dairy industry wants to capitalise on this growth in demand then the industry needs to think differently and think long term.  

A number of scenarios of the possible future direction of the Australian dairy industry were identified by the report. By 2020 Australia's milk supply could shrink to 6 billion litres from about 4,000 farms, or expand to 15 billion litres of milk from 5,200 farms.  Dairy Australia's forecast for the 2013/14 is 9.4 to 9.6 billion litres.

Click here to download the full report 

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