ADPF CEO & Senior Leadership Dinner

On Tuesday, 16 August, ADPF hosted the 2022 CEO and Senior Leaders Dinner.

In what was his first visit to Victoria as the new Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry and Minister for Emergency Management, Senator the Hon Murray Watt MP delivered an engaging keynote address and took part in an insightful Q&A session. Key insights and points of discussion during this session were:

  • There are a number of challenges facing both the dairy sector and wider agricultural industry, including biosecurity, labour, and high input costs. The Minister acknowledged that processors are paying record high prices to secure milk in a constrained supply environment
  • In partnership with the private sector, Labor will prioritise its election pledge of creating a $15 billion National Reconstruction Fund of which $500 million will be set aside to drive more value-adding in agriculture and the production of food and fibre. While that fund needs legislating and may be some time away, its importance cannot be overstated
  • Government will look to deliver a clear and coherent energy policy for Australia
  • Minister Watt said the dairy processing sector is a great value adding success story and that Australians recognise the importance of manufacturing and the jobs and export dollars that come with it, and ‘by working collaboratively we can do more’
  • While labour shortages are not a new issue, turning this around is crucial to enabling businesses to seize the full value of their products
  • The Minister was keen to see more training locally, proactively encouraging workers into agriculture and ensuring migration can top up the workforce with skilled jobs.

Minister Watt thanked ADPF for the opportunity to address the dinner so early in his term, and acknowledged that Australia is proudly a dairy country and that there is a keen willingness from government to ensure meaningful collaboration that delivers a growing, vibrant, and thriving dairy processing sector for generations to come.

This was a strong start to what we hope will be an ongoing, productive and collaborative relationship with the new government.