Joe and Noelene Bradley on their dairy farm in Dayboro.
Joe and Noelene Bradley on their dairy farm in Dayboro.

Milk formula bringing hope to dairy farmers

THE dairy industry has been struggling with the domestic market depreciating, but there may be hope in 2018, with new markets opening for dairy farmers.

The introduction of dollar- per-litre milk has led to a rapid depreciation in our domestic market, leaving local farmers at a loss.

Joe Bradley is a dairy farmer in Dayboro, east of Esk in Queensland, who has felt the effects of the declining domestic market.

"Look, it's still tough. There's no other way to put it," he said.

"Milk prices haven't moved, if anything they've actually dropped a little bit in Queensland. It's still very tough.

"Something has to be done here. The dollar-per-litre milk has taken so many dollars out of the chain. It's really affecting the domestic market, especially up here in Queensland and New South Wales."


Joe and Noelene Bradley on their dairy farm in Dayboro.
Joe and Noelene Bradley on their dairy farm in Dayboro.

Queensland Dairyfarmers' Organisation president Brian Tessman also sees the need for change in order to save Australia's domestic dairy industry.

"I think Australia can certainly produce a lot more milk than it does now if the government sets the right parameters around it," he said.

"Barnaby Joyce promised that he'd end dollar-per-litre milk and I think he needs to honour that promise.

"The code of conduct should be there, both between farmers and processors, and processors and retailers.

"We need to have a code of conduct that covers the whole supply chain so that everyone gets treated fairly."

The export industry is improving for Australian dairy products, with the demand for Australian milk formula increasing rapidly, particularly in Asia.

This could bring a positive change to the dairy markets as a new milk formula factory is being built in Toowoomba as part of Toowoomba Premium Milk.

"While the factory is still a couple of years away from taking any milk, it's certainly a bright spot on the horizon," Mr Tessmann said.

"I think it's a really bright spot to get more access into overseas markets, and better returns for farmers in the southern two-thirds of Queensland and the northern half of New South Wales.

"I think it would help all that region get better returns."

Mr Bradley is also optimistic about the opening of the new factory.

"Any other outlet for our milk is a huge positive," he said.

"One of the problems we have in Queensland is we don't have a lot of competition for our milk.

"We have two big processors and not much else.

"It will create a bit of competition.

"The sooner the better."