Australia not self-sufficient in milk, but let’s farmers go broke in drought!

Australia needs more milk – it is no longer self sufficient!!

Milk volume needed to produce all dairy products consumed in Australia = 9.125 Billion litres

2019 milk production ~ 8.6 Billion

The latest production statistics can be found here


As Australia’s population grows, the volume of food needed increases. A 1.5% population increase this year will add 365,000 people to the population.

This article may help you understand how much milk we (Australia) needs to maintain current consumption levels.

This shows how much milk is needed FOR EVERY PERSON IN Australia. Based on a population of 25 million people.

Note: these are approximations, based on figures from Dairy Australia

102 litres of milk is needed for drinking milk

Australia needs 2.55 billion litres of milk per year for drinking milk.



136 litres of milk to make 13.6 kg cheese

plus about 6.5 kg of whey powder products ( in some companies) the whey products are usually exported

AUSTRALIA consumes about 340,000 tonnes of cheese per year.

Australia needs 3.4 billion litres of milk to make the cheese it consumes.

As a by-product 160,000 tonnes of whey powder (actually less) is made, mainly for export



95 litres of milk to make 4.8 kg of butter and 9 kg of skim milk powder (SMP) this is usually exported.

Australia consumes 225,000 tonnes of butter

Australia needs 2.375 Billion litres of milk needed per year to make the Butter it consumes

225,000 tonnes of Skim milk powder is made as the by-product this is exported.



17 litres of milk per person to make a range of whole milk powdered products / internally Consumed.

Australia needs 425 million litres of milk to make these powders.


10 litres of yoghurt per person (this is usually fortified with Skim milk powder)

Australia needs 250 million litres of milk to make this yoghurt.


10 litres for ice cream – Australia consumes about 18 litres of ice cream per person.

Australia needs 250 million litres of milk to make this Icecream.


The total

370 litres of milk needed per person in total ( estimated)


Population = 25,000,000

25,000,000 x 370 = 9,250,000,000 litres of milk needed to make all the dairy products consumed in Australia in 2018.

Assuming our population increases by 360,000people next year – WE WILL NEED ANOTHER 133,200,000 litres of milk

Or about 14,600 cows !!

Australia’s population is growing at between 350 and 400,000 people per year.

For easy maths, lets set it at 365,000 per year or 1,000 PEOPLE per DAY!!


If we assume a cow gives 25 litres of milk per day – that means Australia needs another 40 cows per day to remain self-sufficient.

So for 350 days in the year, we neeabout 14,600 new cows 🐄 🐄 🐂 every year.

The average farm size is 260 cows.

That means Australia needs about 56 new ”average size farms ” per year or about 1 per week!

The reality is we are dropping farms rapidly.

There is a market failure!!! There is a problem.

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