Australia's Dairy Industry
Dairying continues to be an important rural industry of Australia.
Today, dairy is Australia's third largest rural industry and a major regional employer, not only on-farm but also through processing, manufacturing and distribution of a range of high quality products.
Dairying is a well-established industry across the temperate and sub-tropical areas of Australia where rainfall and rich soils for pasture are most plentiful. While the bulk of milk production occurs in the south-east corner of the country, all states have dairy industries that supply fresh drinking milk to nearby cities and towns.
The industry adds value to the processing of milk through the production of fresh lines such as yogurt, custard, ice cream, butter, cream and a wide variety of cheese types. Longer shelf life products, such as bulk and specialised milk powders, are also produced in high volumes.
- The Australian dairy industry produced 9.4 billion litres of milk during 2011/12
- There are 6,770 dairy farms located across Australia
- About 1,630,000 dairy cows produce all of Australia’s milk
- On average, cows produce 5,926 litres of milk per year
- The most common dairy cow breed in Australia is the Holstein Friesian
- Approximately 50,000 people are directly employed on dairy farms and in manufacturing plants
From Farm to Plate Curriculum Resource
Visit Dairy Australia's free education website Discover Dairy for the comprehensive curriculum module 'From Farm to Plate' that demonstrates all the stages involved in the creation of Australian dairy products - from milk production on the farm to arrival at supermarkets.