Article by: Hari Yellina
In the 2022 Dairy Poll, Australian dairy producers decided to maintain the present required levy expenditure, which has been in effect since 2012. Farmers were given four voting alternatives in the poll, which were established by an independent Levy Poll Advisory Committee, to vote on investment in the industry’s future. Farmers favoured ‘no change’ to the charge, according to Dairy Australia, which received 64 percent of the vote. Since 2012, farmers have been paid 2.8683 cents per kilogramme of milk fat and 6.9914 cents per kilogramme of protein. A 20 percent increase was recommended by the Levy Poll Advisory Committee, which got 28.3 percent of valid votes.
South Australian dairy farmer James Mann, chair of Dairy Australia, congratulated all farmers and industry participants for their contributions to the crucial process of determining the industry’s future investment. “Thanks also to the Levy Poll Advisory Committee, which spent a lot of time and effort deciding on the voting alternatives. Whether it’s research in feed or genetics, or how we respond to difficulties like labour and natural catastrophes, our collective funds play an essential role in delivering services that individual farmers cannot do alone,” Mr Mann said.
Dr David Nation, Dairy Australia’s Managing Director, said the organisation cherished and appreciated every dollar of the dairy levy, and that it would continue to invest it in ways that benefited farmers. “It was particularly encouraging to see 36% vote in favour of a levy increase, suggesting support for the key areas indicated for continued investment – labour, regional services, climate, and policy development – all of which are vital for our industry’s long-term survival,” Dr. Nation added. “We’ll have to think about how we address these crucial areas, and we’ll have to prioritise investment and services now, keeping these areas in mind, as well as our present investment mix.”
These investments include research and innovation, farm business management support, responding to events such as drought, bushfires, floods, or COVID-19, developing tools to adapt to the environment and address climate, supporting on-farm employment needs, dairy product marketing and commitment to sustainability, policy research, industry insights, and international market programs, and policy research, industry insights, and international market programs.