Enhancing livelihoods

Enchancing livelihoods - Commitment 1

We commit to creating a vibrant industry that rewards dairy workers and their families, dairying communities, business and investors

Our challenge and opportunity

Severe droughts in northern Australia, feed availability and prices, and ongoing tensions between dairy farmers and dairy companies call for innovative solutions for maintaining farm profitability and farmer livelihood. Risk management in the livestock industry has become a real issue with investors, as well as human rights and fatalities in the agriculture sector.

This commitment's goals and targets are focused on increasing the number of profitable dairy farms and OH&S trained dairy workers in a zero fatality environment. We are also targeting consumer and dairy community recognition of the value of the dairy sector.

Commitment goals and performance results from 2018
Increase competitiveness and profitability
Increase community resilience
Provide a safe workplace
Develop a skilled workforce 
For full details, download the report
For emerging issues and 2030 targets, see overview 

Goal - Increase the future competitiveness and profitability of the Australian dairy industry

Profitability is a key material issue for the industry. Industry Tools like DairyBase, Taking Stock and dairy Feedbase support this goal.

How we performed in 2017/18:

  • 79 % of dairy farmers made capital investments over the past 2 years
  • There was a 52% increase in the number of profitable dairy farms
  • 85% of consumers agreed that dairy products were meeting their needs

This table shows our year-on-year progress for Goal 1 against our 2020 targets:

Australian Dairy Sustainability Framework - Commitment 1 - Goal 1 Scorecard

Case study

Goal 1 Future competitiveness and profitabilty of Australian dairy

Gippsland dairy farmers John and Lyn Versteden have learnt where to make improvements in their farm business since their involvement in the Taking Stock discussion groups.

  • "Industry improvements start with individual farmers measuring and monitoring their own outcomes", says John Versteden
  • “It’s all about interrogating (your) figures…” says John Versteden
  • The Versteden’s now benchmark their farm business on three levels: financial, production and natural resources

Key Initiatives

These initiatives are driving change in industry competitiveness and profitability.

Dairy Base A web-based tool that enables dairy farmers to measure and compare their farm business performance over time.
Taking stock  One-on-one sessions which help farmers manage feed costs and limited fodder availability. 
Feed planning
A website which has a range of dairy feed tools to assist farmers to plan and cost feed inputs. 
Dairy feedbase A program to improve pasture performance, animal nutrition and cost competitiveness of the feedbase. 
DataGene An independent, industry-owned organisation to drive genetic gain and herd improvement in the Australian dairy industry. 
Project 20:20
Pathways to Change
 
A collaborative project working with five feature farms to improve business management practices. 

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Goal - Increase the resilience and prosperity of dairy communities
Increasing both the social and economic contribution of the dairy industry to regional communities, as well as recognition of benefits of the dairy industry.

How we performed in 2017/18:

  • 88% of respondents to the Dairy Trust Tracker survey 2018 agreed that the dairy industry is an essential part of the community
  • The above represents a 21% increase in positive perceptions of the dairy industry in two years (2016-2018)

This table shows our year-on-year progress for Goal 2 against 2020 targets:

 Australian Dairy Sustainability Framework - Commitment 1 - Goal 2 Scorecard

Case study

Goal 2 Resilience and prosperity of dairy communities 

Since 2013, community perceptions have been used as a proxy for measuring the contribution the dairy industry makes.

  • The Dairy Trust Tracker survey measures community perceptions of the dairy industry
 

Key Initiatives

The Legendairy Capital initiative is helping to increase resilience and prosperity in dairy communities.

Legendairy Capital

A biannual regional grants, public relations and communications program was launched in 2015 to celebrate the contribution of dairy farmers and the dairy industry to regional communities.

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Goal - Provide a safe work environment for all dairy workers
Our sustainability targets assist in defining industry workplace culture.

How we performed in 2017/18:

  • There were no injuries to dairy company workers during the 2-year period to 2018
  • 100% of on-farm and dairy company workers completed OH+S training in 2018

This table shows our year-on-year progress for Goal 3 against our 2020 targets:

Australian Dairy Sustainability Framework - Commitment 1 - Goal 3 Scorecard 

Case study

Goal 3 Farm Safety Starter Kit 

The Farm Safety Starter Kit was developed by dairy farmers for dairy farmers, and includes checklists and action plans to help farmers develop their own safety manuals.

  • Farmers such as Kathie Harvey from Narrung, Victoria, have used the kit to engage with staff and develop feedback systems
  • 2,600 farm safety starter kits have been provided to farmers (as at 2018)

Key Initiatives

These initiatives are driving change in the provide safe work environments.

Workplace safety inspectors

More safety inspectors have been deployed to increase on-farm safety.

White Card Accreditation Program

A national scheme which streamlines milk tanker driving training and improves farm safety.

Power of People in Dairy (POP) survey

A survey sent every 3 years which benchmarks data including farm safety.

Farm Safety Adventure

A National program which educates school students and their families about farm safety.

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Goal - Attract, develop and retain a skilled and motivated dairy workforce

The dairy industry is committed to developing a skilled and motivated workforce and creating a safe workplace for all dairy people.

How we performed in 2017/18:

  • More farms are engaged with training and education
  • The 2017 Power of People in Dairy (POP) survey found 57% of farms had people who attended training in the prior 12 months, up 12% on 2014

This table shows our year-on-year progress for Goal 4 against our 2020 targets:

Australian Dairy Sustainability Framework - Commitment 1 - Goal 4 Scorecard

Case study

Goal 4 - Attract and retail a skilled dairy workforce

The Rural Veterinary Resident Training Program aims to build veterinary capacity across industry and address the issue of retaining vets in rural practice.

  • The program has nine graduates so far with a 100% completion rate
  • A further four residents are currently in the program and six new residents are commencing soon
  • Five veterinary practices at six locations have been involved

Key Initiatives

These initiatives are driving change to develop a skilled and motivated dairy workforce.

Policy Direction

The Australian Dairy Farmer has an advisory group for farm sector policy development.

Industry extension and training programs

Programs offered by Dairy Australia include Cool Cows, InCalf, Countdown and the People In Dairy.

Rural Veterinary Resident Training Program

An industry training program to attract, upskill and retain veterinarians in the Australian dairy industry.

DairyLearn Module

This module connects training providers with industry-approved resources and tools.

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Review industry progress against each commitment

  • COMMITMENT 1

    How we're tracking on community, industry and investment.

    Read more
  • COMMITMENT 2

    How we're tracking on providing nutritious, safe, quality dairy food.

    Read more
  • COMMITMENT 3

    How we're tracking on the health and welfare of all our animals.

    Read more
  • COMMITMENT 4

    How we're tracking on climate change and stewardship of our natural resources.

    Read more