Policy Work

UDV Key Activities
UDV has a policy packed agenda, including extensive work on on-farm energy, processor contracts and relations, milk price structures and MUCH MORE!

You can discuss UDV policy work with your local representative, or one of our friendly staff. For details see WHO WE ARE.

Energy
UDV has been actively lobbying for comprehensive upgrades to Victoria’s energy infrastructure. This includes upgrading Single Wire Earth Return (SWER) lines to 3-phase power across the stat 

Through the New Energy Jobs Fund UDV was able to conduct a feasibility study on upgrading SWER lines. What was found was that farms on a SWER line cannot readily expand herd size beyond the milk storage capabilities of their vats. In other words, a dairy’s ability to expand is constrained by its milk storage capacity and this capacity cannot be increased beyond the energy constraints imposed by SWER lines without intervention.

Click here to download a copy of the feasibility study final report - New Energy Options for the Victorian Dairy Industry.

UDV was also crucial in bringing about the Agriculture Energy Investment Plan. Under this plan farmers are eligible to apply for a dollar for dollar matching grant to assist them in upgrading their energy sytems on farm. 

More information on this program can be found by clicking here.  

Code of Conduct
UDV members right across the state called for significant reform to the relationship between farmers and processors after last year’s milk price changes. Members overwhelmingly called for changes to existing arrangements. They also requested those changes provide them with improved milk supply terms and conditions that provide fair, transparent and equitable agreements with processors.

Following a report from the ACCC the Federal Government determined that the dairy industry would receive a mandatory code of conduct. The code, which aims to improve the balance in bargaining power between dairy farmers and processors, came about through heavy consultation with the UDV. 

Through this process UDV was able to provide key input and recommendations to ensure farmers were protected as much as possible in any future arrangements with processors. 

Click here to for information on the mandatory code of conduct for the dairy industry.  

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 a number of 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 it has become clear that the current systems are not transparent, unfair, and detrimental to the Australian dairy industry. As a result, potential solutions to the problem are now being offered.

UDV has recently compiled a set of material forming the basis for a much simplified milk pricing structure including a think tank of industry consultants identifying the points of complexity in the system, and the "Manika" report outlining key components of a simplified system.

  • A Simplified Milk Pricing Formula
  • A Realistic Spring Differential
  • Independent Months with no linkage
  • Capped Productivity Bonuses
  • Reporting of the Median Price instead of the Average Weighted Price
  • Reporting of a Price Range by processors

You can read more, including reports, handouts and presentations HERE

Young Farmer engagement and development
Each year the UDV runs a study tour of New Zealand in February funded by the Gardiner Dairy Foundation. This provided an opportunity for eight of the best young 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.

Many past participants of the tour have said it has been the best professional development they've ever undertaken, while other have gone on to take leadership roles within the industry. 

Applications for the tour generally open around September/October so keep an eye on the UDV Facebook and Twitter page to find out when applications open.   

Click here to become a member and have your say today.

For more information on becoming a member, phone VFF member services on 1300 882 833 or email members@vff.org.au