Victoria's dairy industry going strong
Victoria's dairy industry is going from strength to strength with an international deal for infant formula production announced by Fonterra as well as strong financial year results announced last Wednesday (27 August) by Australia's largest dairy food company, Murray-Goulburn.
Minister for Agriculture and Food Security Peter Walsh said the Victorian Coalition government recognised the recent announcements as a huge confidence boost for Victoria's dairy industry – from the farm gate through to the dairy food manufacturing sector.
"The Victorian Coalition government is committed to boosting the productivity and profitability of our dairy industry, and we are actively working with the industry to get more Victorian produce into the rapidly expanding high value consumer markets of Asia," Walsh said.
"The announcement that Fonterra and Beingmate will pursue a NZ$615 million (approximately AUD $551 million) partnership to manufacture and distribute infant formula has been described as game-changing by the dairy industry, with significant new access anticipated to the Chinese market including 80,000 distribution outlets.
"Victoria welcomes Fonterra's positive comments on the ongoing future of Gippsland's Darnum Park site, which supports Gippsland dairy farmers and local jobs at the plant.
"Fonterra's announcement comes on the same day Murray-Goulburn revealed strong financial results with a net profit after tax of $29.3 million for 2013-14 and record sales revenue of $2.917 billion."
Walsh said that Murray-Goulburn's announcement made early last week indicated that Victoria was becoming increasingly important in the competitive global dairy market.
"Victoria is cementing its position as Australia's dairy powerhouse. Last year we exported $1.85 billion of dairy product, which was 86 per cent of the nation's total. Today's announcements signal an even brighter future for dairy in Victoria and should give everyone in the industry great confidence," Walsh said.
"The Victorian Coalition government is helping to build a stronger dairy industry with our Food to Asia Action Plan, securing more jobs and more investment in the future.
"The Coalition government's Growing Food and Fibre initiative is also advancing strategic research and development work, like the $40 million productivity-focused partnership with Dairy Australia, to give our dairy farmers the science and skills needed to meet growing global demand.
"The Victorian Coalition government has set the challenge of doubling Victoria's food and fibre production by 2030 and we can achieve this through strategic research and development together with active engagement with international markets."
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