Advocacy group Dairy Connect has called for a new industry body to represent the milk industry in NSW and Queensland, covering the whole value chain, including producers, processors, distributors, vendors and consumers.
“A single not-for-profit value chain organisation representing fresh-milk production in the two states would ensure consistency in advocacy with government, stakeholders and other interest groups,” said Dairy Connect farmers’ group resident Graham Forbes in a statement.
“There remains a dairy production dichotomy between northern states and those in the south. This particularly relates to Queensland and NSW which share much in common, including markets and farming systems and which largely produce fresh milk compared with more commodity-focused production in the south,” he said.
“A NSW-Queensland fresh-milk value-chain association would mean that pressing challenges could be addressed more effectively by those who have ‘skin in the game’. It is time that those dairy stakeholders who wish to be involved with an organisation specifically addressing the concerns of fresh milk producers act to establish a special platform and act urgently,” Dairy Connect CEO Shaughn Morgan added.
He said it should also reflect the research and development as well as extension to ensure the support for dairy producers when it comes to fresh milk issues. He said a farmer levy could be discussed to develop RD&E that is specific to producers of fresh milk.
“We look forward to continuing our dialogue with other state dairy organisations such as the NSW Farmers Association dairy committee and the Queensland Dairy Organisation to find positive outcomes for fresh milk producers. We recognise the importance of ensuring continuity and common practice between all players, ranging from the dairy producer, the processor through to the function of delivering fresh milk to retailers with consumers completing the chain,” Shaughn concluded.