policy work

UDV VISION FOR THE DAIRY INDUSTRY

UDV Policy Council has drafted a Vision document to help provide priority and direction for the organisation and for the industry as a whole.

The draft is now out for wider consultation and we are engaging with UDV Branches and the rest of the industry. Reaction to date has been generally positive with some insightful questions being asked.

The main thrust of the approach is to gather the industry to focus on a number of pre and post farm gate factors which drive farm profitability and which will in turn unlock capital investment.

View the document here.

milk price structure

As an ongoing issue for the industry, UDV has led the industry discussion on what is a complex issue that is not generally understood well by farmers. Since the UDV started the debate the two biggest milk processors have conducted, or are conducting, milk price structure reviews.

In more recent times the commentary from farmers and consultants is more informed, and as a result, potential solutions to the problem are now being offered.

UDV has recently organised a day long milk review discussion involving 12 key dairy industry consultants to develop a discussion paper for further industry discussions.

BJD Control Program Review

Dairy farmers contribute to the Cattle Compensation fund through levies on sales of cattle. The fund has a range of functions, but one is to fund a program (TCP3) designed to contain Bovine Johne’s in Victoria’s cattle herd

UDV has led the push for a full review of the TCP3 program including the effectiveness of the current program, the need for the program to continue, market access implications and BJD management in the other states to ensure we achieve the best use of farmers levy payments.

View the final report of the BJD management review here.

Electronic NVD Trials

Livestock producers must supply a vendor declaration with each consignment of stock. Dairy farmers regularly sell (low value) bobby calves and chopper cows in small numbers. Because of the forms in book format dairy farmers are paying a disproportionate higher cost compared with other livestock sales.

UDV is an active supporter of a trial to convert the NVD to an electronic format and thereby utilise the livestock monitoring systems put in place for the Time Off Feed project.

This has resulted in reduced livestock selling costs for farmers. The improved monitoring will also assist meat processors with stock identification thereby improving residue compliance, reducing opportunity for errors and the impact on markets.

NZ Dairy farmer immigration issues

The Victorian dairy industry had an influx of a significant number of New Zealand dairy farmers move here over the past ten years or so. Despite buying farms and being active members of their local communities, the complexity of Australia’s immigration system has made it extremely difficult for them to gain Australian residency and citizenship status. 

UDV has already made progress in removing a number of elements of the process that have been excluding these people from successfully applying. Through working with the Department of Immigration, the UDV believes there is now a clear pathway to apply for permanent residency.

Industry Funding Allocations (DEPI/DA)

Victorian dairy farmers are demonstrating they are interested in how farmers levy payments are spent and that they expect appropriate funding investments.

The UDV has been asking questions about the industry/government/3rd party funding models currently being implemented across the dairy industry and scrutinising the effect of the changes on the delivery of services to farmers.

Young Farmer engagement and development

The UDV is organising the 2017 tour of New Zealand funded by the Gardiner Foundation. This will provide an opportunity for five or six of the best industry talents to share a ‘hands-on’ education of a competitors farming structures and systems, develops a peer network and links farm based and farm service based people. 

Coal Seam Gas in Gippsland

The UDV is aware of the growing concern amongst farmers about Unconventional Gas exploration (including coal seam gas) occurring in the Gippsland region. Having been approached by milk processors for guidance on this issue the UDV has responded and is working to provide clear and useful information to our members. 

We are working with the VFF and DA to develop a robust policy which reflects the unique concerns of the dairy industry. The UDV policy will work to ensure there are strong regulatory requirements to protect the rights of landholders and communities, and ensure that water and land are safe from risk before decisions to mine can go ahead. The policy will also focus on community benefit in places where mining may occur, this ‘royalty for regions’ approach will push for mining companies to invest in the local community, rather than only compensating landholders

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