Dairy farmers are the custodians of sustainability

Tuesday 15 December 2015 | From Dairy Australia

In November, Australia’s dairy industry received a coveted Banksia Award for achievements in sustainability practice.

In a podcast released today, Dairy Australia’s Sustainability Manager, Helen Dornom talks about why the industry established its Sustainability Framework three years ago and what has been achieved in that time. She also remarks on the crucial role of farmers and what can be expected in the coming years.

“Sometimes there is a tendency to see programs like the Sustainability Framework as an impost and something we have to do rather than want to do,” said Ms Dornom.

“But every time a farmer cares for their animals, for example, they are contributing to our reputation and they need to understand their actions have a huge impact on our credibility.

“Farmers are the custodians of the individual elements of our framework; enhancing livelihoods, improving wellbeing and reducing environmental impact,” she said.

Receiving a Banksia also allowed the industry to stand back and take some perspective.

“The Framework has given a way to tell that story, and our customers are increasingly keen to hear what we are doing in this space,” she said.

Ms Dornom said there is a tendency in dairy to think we are world leaders in sustainability and that we have set the bar very high.

“The reality is we are not leading the world and the rest of the world is well and truly going down the pathway of sustainability, whether they call it that or not.

“The risk for us as an industry is that we are seen by the market and the community not being aware of the impacts we have.

“We’re in a great industry producing a great product and we have to demonstrate our ongoing commitment,” said Ms Dornom.

 “It’s really making sure we are keeping pace with community expectations, it is a commitment, it will be ongoing and there is no quick win,” she concluded.

Listen to the podcast here.

Dairy Australia is the national services body for the Australian dairy industry. The company acts as the collective investment arm of the industry, investing in essential research, development, extension and industry services with the goal of making dairy farms more profitable.

Dairy Australia Media Enquiries:

Mark Pearce, Media Manager - Dairy Australia
03 9694 3809 / 0417 540 059 / mpearce@dairyaustralia.com.au