I would like to thank Tyne Logan Of ABC Regional WA for putting together this story.
I have been concerned for some time that most industry commentators on the dairy industry are talking about the Symptoms – not the causes – of the decline in the dairy industry.
Uncovering the causes is difficult and I still am not able to say them simply or easily.
I have to say that without the Support of Dairy Australia’s – Norman Repacholi – statistician and ex dairy farmer and his team – the job would have been much more difficult.
The key points that I see are:
- Australia’s milk production is dropping while the population and consumption is growing.
- Australia is importing more – but not reporting this.
- Australia’s cultural cousin NZ, has created a policy climate where a world scale company has formed in a place that is a bit bigger than Victoria and has a population the same as Victoria. HOW IS THIS SO?
- The Australian dairy industry was formed differently in 6 different states. The main difference was the payment system – QUOTA (restricting growth) or POOLING (supporting growth)
- In my opinion
- The Pooling System supported milk growth – that supported processing growth – that generated export income.
- The Quota system only looked at drinking milk and DID NOT NOTICE THE GROWTH IN CHEESE CONSUMPTION.
6. Since deregulation – there was no attempt to standardise the industries across the states. The result is ageing assets and loss of viability of many well run farms and districts.
7. If Australia does not review its future dairy needs – STATE BY STATE & REGION BY REGION the country will end up FOLLOWING THE CASE STUDY OF WA – where almost all cheese, butter and Ice-cream and 1/2 the yoghurt IS IMPORTED ACROSS THE NULLARBOR.
The recent review by the ACCC of the dairy industry, did not look at the competition policy within each State.
This competition policy requires that there is competition between the processors in each state.
This does not allow for the formation of the worldscale company such as our cousin has in New Zealand.
I believe that part of the solution is an Australian wide review, including each State’s structure and future dairy needs AND HOW competition policy has restricted the growth of dairy companies in Australia – resulting in Australia NOT HAVING ONE LOCALLY OWNED COMPANY IN THE TOP 20 in the world.
IF THIS WAS A SPORTING TEAM -THE COACH WOULD BE SACKED