Dairy Conference to Investigate Key Issues

Posted by Josette Dunn on 16th August 2010

Queensland’s dairy industry will gather on the Sunshine Coast next week to examine the key challenges facing milk producers in the future.The Queensland Dairyfarmers Organisation and Dairy Industry Association of Australia annual conference is on August 25 and 26 and is titled Learning from the Past, Assessing the Present, and Planning for the Future.

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Minister for Primary Industries, Fisheries and Rural and Regional Qld, Tim Mulherin, will open the main day of the conference on August 25, and his presentation will be accompanied on the day with expert speakers from throughout the dairy supply chain.

Speakers at the conference include:

* Craig Garvin, Parmalat;
* Keith Mentiplay, National Foods;
* Kate Carnell, CEO of the Australian Food and Grocery Council;
* Ian Halliday, CEO of Dairy Australia;
* Marcus Barber, Strategic Futurist;
* Wes Judd, President of Australian Dairy Farmers.

With recent tension in the industry over milk price negotiations, it is expected to be a strongly-attended forum with a robust discussion particularly surrounding farmer concerns with milk price negotiations in some areas.

QDO President, Brian Tessmann, said the event would be a highlight in the dairy industry calendar.

“There are many people in the industry who are looking at the future with some uncertainty, wondering what lies in store for the industry on both the local and international fronts, and how this will affect their enterprise,” he said.

“As a result, the joint conference has created a program that looks at the battles we have been through, looks at the present situation, and then delves into information that will help us understand what will unfold in the short and long terms.”

Mr Tessmann said that given the current challenges the industry faced regarding milk price negotiations across Queensland, it was welcome that milk processors National Foods and Parmalat would be in attendance.

“It is important that milk producers hear the processors’ side of the story,” he said. “And it is equally important that the processors hear the concerns of farmers – which will no doubt be the case at the conference.”

DIAA (Qld Division) President, Adam Baigent, said the speakers would be informative and entertaining.

“Once again we thank our various sponsors for helping ensure that this event will be such a success,” Mr Baigent said.