Second Taste Australia event showcases premium Australian produce

Australia’s finest produce was on full display in one of the nation’s key export markets last month, in an effort to reinforce Australia’s position as a key supplier of premium food and wine.

Four of Australia’s key Rural Development Corporations (RDCs) joined forces to stage the latest Taste Australia event at the New World Hotel in Beijing, in a combined effort to highlight the quality of Australian agricultural products.

It was the second event organised by the collaboration partners – Dairy Australia, Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA), Hort Innovation and Wine Australia – following a successful event in Shanghai earlier this year.

China is Australia’s largest dairy export destination, with a total export volume of 230,364 tonnes in 2017-18, accounting for 27% of Australia’s dairy exports.

More than 100 guests attended the latest event, including key customers of Australian food and wine, as well as Chinese media and government representatives.

Australian Ambassador to China Jan Adams also attended and addressed the event.

Dairy Australia international market manager Sarah Xu said the Taste Australia events continue to strengthen Australia’s global reputation for premium food and wine.

“These events are vital to ensuring that China, as one of Australia’s key dairy export markets, is reminded of just how premium the quality of our food is,” Ms Xu said.

“The events are an opportunity for key Chinese stakeholders to learn more about Australian produce, the quality of our foods and the stories of our farmers.

“Guests depart with an even greater appreciation of the outstanding food and wine Australia has to offer.”

China Dairy Industry Association Ms Meiju Liu said the Taste Australia event shared and promoted fine Australian cuisine.

“During the event, the hosts set up a display stand with a range of Australian dairy products, which was greatly appreciated by the event participants,” Ms Liu said.

The event included a full run sheet which featured a joint media session with each of the RDCs.

A number of Chinese media outlets took part, including BQ Weekly, Global Gourmet magazine, Absolute magazine,, and AoHua Interactive Technolgy Ltd.

“The Chinese media was particularly interested in the history of food and wine production in Australia, as well as the natural environment of our production areas,” Ms Xu said.

“The media were also keenly interested in the strengths of our production when compared with our competitors, as well as the innovation of our agricultural industries and the future outlook of supply into the Chinese market.”

Guests were treated to display areas to sample products from each industry, as well as a cooking demonstration featuring Australian ingredients by Aussie chef Tim Hollands.

Prizes were awarded to guests who correctly answered questions about each agricultural industry, while the event also included a formal dinner which featured premium Australian ingredients and wines.

The Taste Australia event was bookended by a welcome address by MLA international markets manager Michael Finucan, and a keynote speech by Ms Adams.

Dairy Australia is committed to building on the success of this year’s Taste Australia seminars and conferences, and to working with other RDCs to promote Australian agricultural exports to China.

To find out more about Australian dairy exports and read the latest figures, download the Dairy Industry In Focus report here:

Photo: Australian Ambassador Jan Adams joins Dairy Australia international market manager Sarah Xu at the dairy display stand, prior to the Taste Australia dinner commencing


Market Commentary – February 2018
Australian dairy processors continue to plan for the long term

Dairy Australia’s latest Situation and Outlook report has highlighted major developments in Australia’s dairy processing sector.

Amidst challenging conditions for Australian dairy farmers, the report highlights significant investments in infrastructure by the country’s existing processors, as well as new entrants.

Dairy Australia Senior Industry Analyst John Droppert said ongoing corporate investment points to underlying confidence within Australia’s processing sector.

“This is a very challenging season for farmers, but there is still a clear level of long-term planning being driven by Australia’s major dairy processors,” Mr Droppert said.

“Sustained investment will help to maintain the Australian dairy industry’s capacity to meet demand, especially from international markets seeking to purchase premium Australian dairy products.”

In a significant acquisition, Bega Cheese emerged as the successful purchaser of the Koroit facility in southwest Victoria, acquiring the former Murray Goulburn plant from Saputo for $250 million.

Australian Consolidated Milk’s (ACM) new Girgarre plant near Shepparton in northern Victoria continues to take shape.

The company is reportedly working towards a late November commissioning date, and commercial production from April 2019.

Cohuna-based No Bull Milk Processing Pty Ltd (NBMP) has taken step towards its proposed powder and butter plant in the northern Victorian town.

In the organic milk sector, Bellamy’s Organic has entered new agreements with Fonterra, ACM and Bega Cheese (via Tatura Milk Industries) to source and process Australian organic milk.

Mr Droppert said growing demand for niche milk products required processors to continue to adapt to appeal to consumers within Australian and in overseas markets.

“We know consumer preferences are evolving and milk processors are innovating to convert these trends to demand for dairy products,” Mr Droppert said.

On 10 October, Kirin-owned Lion announced plans to divest its Lion Dairy and Drinks (LDD) unit, following a strategic review.

LDD is intended to be sold as a whole and Kirin expects the sale process to take between six and 12 months.

A full corporate sector update was published in Dairy Australia’s October Situation and Outlook report.

To access the full report, visit Dairy Australia’s website at:

Dairy Australia promoting dairy on the international stage
Dairy Australia promoting dairy on the international stage

Dairy Australia is helping to showcase Australia’s dairy industry to the world with Managing Director Dr David Nation recently attending the Global Dairy Platform and International Dairy Federation (IDF) Summit – 2018 held in Daejeon, South Korea.

Held from 9 to 19 October this year, the summit is one of the world’s premier dairy events.

Dr David Nation said the highlight was an address by Ban Ki-moon, the former Secretary-General of the United Nations and South Korean diplomat. 

“What was particularly powerful to me was his personal account of the importance of dairy foods and its contribution towards making South Korea a success story.”

“The chance to take part in the Global Dairy Platform was a great opportunity, particularly in the area of great interest to Australia, sustainability.

“Engagement at international forums provides a wonderful opportunity to take part in the global conversation around subjects such as sustainability and exchange ideas,” Dr Nation said.

Dairy Australia has had an active role in helping to create the global dairy sustainability framework, based on the successful delivery of Australia’s globally recognised industry sustainability framework.

“We would like to see how our sustainability framework aligns with an international framework where we can all consider the issues for the dairy industry across the globe,” Dr Nation said.

Dairy Australia also promoted the quality of Australia’s dairy products in Japan this year by meeting with key Japanese industry customers in Tokyo.

In November Dr Nation attended the annual Kangaroo Kai, which sees over 200 senior representatives of the Japanese dairy and food manufacturing sectors attend as well Australian representatives.

“This was my first chance to participate in Kangaroo Kai and as Japan is as a major market for Australian dairy products,” Dr Nation said.

“It is essential that we continue our long history of cooperation and friendship.

“Australia needs to continue to build relationships internationally that are enduring and promote our high quality produce.

“We are seen as a favourable country to source dairy from, as we are committed to innovation and sustainability, and are dedicated to meeting our customer’s needs.

“Although Australia has been impacted by the large global changes to dairy trade in the last five years our industry has been very resilient in the face of those changes.

“We have plans in place to remain resilient with the introduction of a whole-of-industry Dairy Plan being implemented to ensure farmers remain strong, confident and united,” Dr Nation said.

The plan will be built over the next six to nine months, and will include a consultation process that is designed to rally the industry, and those collective views will form a single document.

Ultimately, the Dairy Plan will set the purpose, vision and strategy for the dairy industry for the next five years and beyond, so we can take advantage of the many opportunities, both domestically and globally that exist for Australia’s dairy industry.

Dairy analysts watching European weather closely
John Droppert, Dairy Australia senior analyst, said the current European drought may affect milk production.

Brighter prospects of higher Victorian farm gate milk prices, due to a downturn in global milk supply, may be dampened by a sharp jump in production costs, according to analysts.

Dairy Australian senior analyst John Droppert said there had been a drop in New Zealand production and a cold, and wet spring, in the northern hemisphere.

“The Europeans went through quite a bit of fodder, keeping cows indoors, and now they are coming through a hot summer, where they need fodder as well,” Mr Droppert said.

Whilst milk volumes were not yet down, the heat could affect fat and protein levels.

“Fodder shortages are going to bite, later in the season, and milk volumes will drop as heat stress catches up,” Mr Droppert said.

Mr Droppert said buyers would be looking around to ensure supply.

“They don’t wait until there is no product, before they start to worry about it,” he said.

“If they see those dry conditions, and those numbers coming in, they start to cover themselves.”

Australian manufacturers were trying to maintain the premium for Australian product and it made it easier to hold out for a better sale, when buyers were keen.

Rabobank’s Michael Harvey said expectations for the new season in New Zealand were good, with healthy margins for dairy farmers on the back of milk price signals.

While seasonal conditions in autumn had been kind, the next few weeks would be critical.

Mycoplasma bovis wouldn’t significantly impact milk production this season.

“Infected farmers have the option to milk through the peak of the season, which many have indicated to do, and then cull their herds in early 2019,” he said.

He said global factors pointed to an upswing in prices.

 “There is a growing likelihood global supply, in the coming months, could be impacted negatively, which provides an upside to commodity prices,” Mr Harvey said.

“We haven’t seen that realised in terms of higher export returns, just yet, it’s a key watch, right now.

“There is margin pressure because input costs have started to rise, but there is a chance we will see a bit of rally in markets, if this weather takes to take a hold of global supply.”

Rabobank was expecting to see production slow, across Europe.

“There are severe drought conditions, in parts of north-west Europe,” Mr Harvey said.

“We aren’t talking about the whole continent, but big areas of Ireland, the United Kingdom and Germany.

“We will probably need to revise down our growth forecasts for Europe.”

The weaker Australian dollar was also supportive of export returns.

“There are some signs on the horizon of higher farmgate prices but it is all quite dynamic at the moment.

“It would be welcome relief for farmers in many regions given rising cost of production.”

He said some farmers would be looking to dry off early, or reduce stocking rates, to bring down  costs.

Mr Harvey said the dry conditions in the north came as milk production had started to grow again.

“Given tension in supply chain that’s a much needed result,” Mr Harvey said.

Between 2014-15 to 2017-2018, 800million litres of milk were lost in the southern export region, mostly from the north of Victoria.

“The context is we needed to start the recovery, that’s a good first step, but there is still a shortage of milk in the system,” Mr Harvey said.

“This will be a multi-seasonal recovery, given how challenging and tumultuous it has been in the last couple of years.”

In South America, Brazilian production suffered from a large trucker’s strike in late May and although production recovered in June, drought in the southeast was having an impact on production levels.

Rural Bank’s senior analyst Matt Ough said there was a positive outlook for growth and profitability in the sector, tempered by forecast limited rainfall.

Whilst Australian milk supply rose in 2017/18,  supply didn’t keep up with demand. 

“If the increasing demand for Australian dairy products is met it could equal improvements in farm gate milk prices with a forecasted average milk price of $6.10/kg MS in 2018/19,” Mr Ough said.

He said Rural Bank’s annual review advised global dairy prices should continue to improve with international exports of milk powder continuing to drive value in China and the emerging markets of Thailand and Japan.

Wednesday, 01 August 2018 19:02

Dairy Foods, Sport & Fitness

Dairy Foods, Sport & Fitness

Whether you’re a serious athlete or you’re exercising for your general health and fitness, nutrition is fundamental to your performance.

Milk is one of the best drinks for re-hydration and refuelling after exercise. Its unique combination of whey and casein proteins is also important for muscle growth and repair – another plus for athletes of all levels.

Monday, 16 July 2018 12:51

Dairy Nutrients

DAIRY NUTRIENTS Calcium is just the start of dairy foods nutrient package. Milk, cheese and yogurt provide over 10 essential nutrients!

Friday, 29 June 2018 15:22

Dairy and Healthy Weight

Dairy and Healthy Weight

You’ve always known that eating dairy is an important part of maintaining a balanced diet. Yet, many Australians cut back on this delicious source of essential nutrients for fear of getting fat. Well fear not! 

According to the National Health and Medical Research Council, consumption of dairy foods is not linked to weight gain. In fact, for people looking to lose weight, research shows including three to four serves of dairy in a reduced-kilojoule diet can actually help accelerate weight loss, particularly from around the stomach.

Thursday, 21 June 2018 11:23

Dairy part of a balance diet

Dairy part of a balance diet

Eating a balanced diet is easier said than done, but some simple changes can help you make a difference to your health and wellbeing. Foods like pies, chips, biscuits and chocolate can be high in kilojoules and low in important nutrients. By replacing these foods with more nutritious alternatives, you can improve your diet and your health.

Eating a balanced diet is easier said than done, but some simple changes can help you make a difference to your health and wellbeing. Foods like pies, chips, biscuits and chocolate can be high in kilojoules and low in important nutrients. By replacing these foods with more nutritious alternatives, you can improve your diet and your health.

Wednesday, 06 June 2018 11:32

South East Asian Scholarship Program, 2019

South East Asian Scholarship Program, 2019

Dairy Australia is currently recruiting participants for the annual South East Asian Scholarship Program which will be held in February 2019. This will be the fifth time the highly successful program has been staged and it will again be supported by the State Government of Victoria.

The program will run over two weeks from the 10th to 22nd February, 2019.

A key theme of the program will be the Australian Dairy Food Safety system. The aim is to promote the high quality and safety of dairy food products and enhance the confidence the markets have in Australian dairy. The program will combine theoretical sessions with practical exposure through visits to dairy farms and manufacturing facilities.

For the 2019 program participants will be recruited from Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, and South Korea. Additional participation may be drawn from Myanmar, Brunei, Laos and Cambodia.

The program will be conducted entirely in English and for this reason it is essential that participants are fluent in speaking, understanding and reading English. This is a mandatory requirement for participation in the program.

Participants should be engaged in a dairy/food industry related role involving one or more of the following functions:

  • Quality assurance
  • Purchasing/procurement of dairy ingredients
  • Manufacturing of food products using imported dairy ingredients
  • Marketing and distribution of imported dairy products
  • Regulatory compliance

Candidates will ideally currently hold a middle management level role and will have been identified within their company as having strong potential to progress to a senior management role during their career.

The participants’ company will be required to provide the airfare to and from Australia, but once in Australia almost all costs will be covered by the Scholarship program, including accommodation, meals, transport and all materials.

If you are interested in applying, or nominating someone from your organisation, please contact Stewart Davey at Dairy Australia for more information and an Expression of Interest form.

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Wednesday, 06 June 2018 11:17

2018 Milk Quality Awards

2018 Milk Quality Awards

The Australian dairy industry is celebrating the success of top performing dairy farmers producing high quality milk.

The Australian Milk Quality Awards recognise farms that have achieved the best milk quality in Australia based on annual average bulk milk cell count (BMCC) across Australia’s milk processing companies.

Victorian-based dairy farmer Matt Coleman who farms with wife Rosalie and their children Maya, Billy and Lilia, has been recognised as a top producer in this year’s milk quality awards.

The award is no accident, with the Colemans’ showing a commitment to good habits – both in the dairy and on the farm - that help reduce incidences of clinical mastitis.

Fifteen-year-old Maya recently attended a Dairy Australia Cups On Cups Off workshop to help her better understand the steps involved in producing low cell count milk.

“It was fantastic for Maya. It really fast-tracked her knowledge of what happens in the dairy and what happens with the cows.” Matt said.

Dairy Australia’s Kathryn Davis said the on-farm management of milk quality is key to ensuring the competitiveness of Australian dairy in the marketplace.

“Every year the Australian Milk Quality Awards celebrates the great job being done by dairy farmers up and down the country to keep milk quality at a consistently high standard and the results and quality of Australian milk are improving year-on-year,” Ms Davis said.

“A low cell count is an indicator that mastitis is well controlled in the herd, improving milk production, cow health and welfare. Farmers achieving a low cell count are also financially rewarded with a premium for their milk and significant cost savings on mastitis treatments and labour.”

Ms Davis said the awards were a unique collaboration across the industry to recognise high-achieving farmers.

Data for the Australian Milk Quality Awards is supplied to Dairy Australia by dairy companies across the country and to be eligible, dairy farms must have data for a minimum of nine months in a calendar year. Monthly averages are then used to calculate the annual average BMCC for each farm and the winners are those 5% of farms with the lowest BMCC.

Photo: Victorian farmer Matt Coleman with his daughter Maya.

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