Australian Dairy Industry Sustainability Framework

Dairy farmer family, sustainable dairy industry

The Australian dairy industry has developed a whole-of-industry Sustainability Framework which aims to: 

  • Enhance livelihoods across the industry
  • Improve community and animal wellbeing
  • Reduce our environmental impact

Progress and challenges revealed by dairy’s 2015 Sustainability Report

Sustainability image 

The latest Australian Dairy Industry Sustainability Framework Progress Report reveals not only the steps towards improvement the industry has taken in the past year, but also the significant challenges that remain. Australia’s dairy farmers and manufacturers demonstrate their whole-of-industry commitment to increasing prosperity for industry and communities, caring for people and animals, and minimising environmental their footprint through the Framework.

Established in 2012 to help guide Australian improvement against 11 targets and 41 performance measures the Framework is led by the Australian Dairy Industry Council, managed by an industry Steering Committee, and supported by Dairy Australia.

Our 2015 Progress Report shows several areas of improvement including:

  • The industry’s efforts in helping the Government to secure Free Trade Agreements with China, Japan and Korea, to increase farm business competitiveness and profitability
  • The intensity of waste sent to landfill by manufacturers has dropped 46% since 2011, exceeding the target for 2020
  • The proportion of farmers with nutrient management plans, which at 58% is on-track to achieve the 2020 target of 80%

There are other areas where the industry’s performance has declined, such as the proportion of people who recognise dairy as a quality product, which slipped to 69% from a baseline of 72% (the 2020 target is 80%).

To ensure our industry remains current, relevant and accountable in the context of changing global and domestic conditions and expectations, a review of all the targets, indicators and performance measures in the Framework will be undertaken during 2016.

The review will take into consideration a broad range of emerging issues, stakeholder views, industry priorities, political agendas and global trends.

Read the online report

In 2012, the industry endorsed the Australian Dairy Sustainability Framework, identifying priority areas, goals and objectives.

In 2013 we reviewed all current activity benchmarked against the Framework, and identified where performance improvement was needed. We committed to achieving key targets, and established performance measures underpinned by baseline data.

The Australian dairy industry, under the leadership of the Australian Dairy Industry Council (ADIC) and supported by Dairy Australia, has endorsed the Framework, targets and performance measures, while recognising that there is still further work to be done in some areas.

The Sustainability Framework leads the industry's actions to be more sustainable and will help drive practice change where necessary for farmers and processors. It is a framework for keeping the Australia dairy industry in business for the long term.

Previous Progress Reports and ongoing review

The Framework was developed in consultation with industry representatives and other stakeholders including customers, retailers, government, regulators, NRM groups and leading interest groups.

Implementation of the framework continues in 2015.

The Australian Dairy Industry Sustainability Framework will be regularly reviewed to ensure it remains relevant to industry, our operating environment, community expectations and customer needs. The next Progress Report will be delivered at the end of 2015.