New South Wales Govt To Appoint Fresh Milk And Dairy Advocate

New South Wales Govt To Appoint Fresh Milk And Dairy Advocate

New South Wales Minister for Primary Industries Niall Blair

Finding Out The Costs In A Litre Of Milk

Victor P Taffa

Fresh milk industry in New South Wales is set for a real shake up, with the New South Wales Liberals and Nationals are calling for radical action from supply chain participants, as well as announcing support measures for dairy farmers in Raleigh today.

Minister for Primary Industries Niall Blair said that dairy farmers across the State are facing one of the driest periods on record, with the ongoing drought driving input costs up while production continues to fall.

“Our first priority is to get dairy farmers through the drought and help restore producer confidence by appointing a Fresh Milk and Dairy Advocate to lead a dedicated Dairy Business Advisory Unit within the Department of Primary Industries (DPI).” Minister Blair said.

“Advocate’s first order of business will be to establish and co-ordinate a fresh milk crisis taskforce, with both industry and Government, to identify immediate and necessary actions for the sector.”

“We will also focus on the long-term future of the sector by working with industry to drive demand for New South Wales milk through a marketing campaign, as well offer fully subsidised course fees for the New South Wales Dairy Farm Training Program to support the next generation of farmers.” Minister Blair said.

“We will help our dairy farmers beat this drought, but what concerns me the most is the systemic issues in the dairy industry which mean many of our farmers, even if the drought breaks, may find there is no point in carrying on.”

Minister Blair said despite 3 significant players in the fresh milk supply chain, it’s the most important one, the farmer, who is currently losing out because of systemic failures.

“I have met with dairy farmers, processors and retailers right across New South Wales. All have different challenges but one message is clear, there is not enough profitability in the whole dairy supply chain.” Minister Blair said.

“We have become accustomed to paying $1 for a litre for milk but it is worth so much more.”

“Simple truth is it costs farmers money to produce milk, it costs processors money to process milk and it costs retailers money to stock milk, yet we’re not paying enough to cover any of these costs and dairy farms across the state are collapsing as a result.” Minister Blair said.

“Situation is dire. When our farmers are no longer able to produce fresh milk and it’s being imported from interstate or overseas, the retail price of milk will skyrocket, leaving supermarkets with an unaffordable product and a reputation permanently tarnished by having destroyed the dairy industry in New South Wales.”

“If irrational milk pricing continues, the future of the industry is in real danger. I am calling on everyone processors, retailers and consumers to do their part and stop undervaluing fresh milk in New South Wales as a matter of urgency.”

“New South Wales Government can and will do our bit but the rest is up to those with the power to make real and immediate changes for the betterment and security a whole industry and they know who they are.” Minister Blair said.

Member for Oxley, Melinda Pavey welcomed the announcement saying there is no denying that the drought is having an enormous impact on farmers across the state.

“Milk production and processing sectors in particular play a very important role in the local economy and contribute significantly to communities across the region, including right here in Raleigh.” Mrs. Pavey said.

“Only a Liberals & Nationals Government will continue to apply pressure on those who can make the necessary changes within the industry and I call on consumers and the New South Wales Opposition to do the same.”

NSW Member for Oxley Melinda Pavey

NSW Member for Oxley Melinda Pavey

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Immediate actions to support our dairy farmers that the New South Wales Liberals and Nationals commit to include:

  • Establishing an Agricultural Commissioner,
  • Appointing a Fresh Milk and Dairy Advocate and establishing a dedicated Dairy Business Advisory unit within DPI,
  • Working with the industry to develop a ‘buy local fresh milk’ marketing campaign and undertaking a targeted marketing campaign overseas using the New South Wales Trade office network,
  • Offering fully subsidised course fees for the New South Wales Dairy Farm Training Program,
  • Maintaining a commercial dairy at DPI for research and training,
  • Reprioritising investment into key research areas identified by the industry,
  • Continuing industry extension support services to provide advice to dairy farmers across New South Wales,
  • Extending access to the $3 Million cattle underpass project to ensure more farmers can safely move cattle.

Minister Blair has written to the Board of Directors and 20 largest shareholders of the Coles Group as well as the CEO of Aldi, requesting an end to the sale of $1 per litre milk to secure the future of the State’s dairy industry.