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TAS Country : July 7th 2011
12 Tasmanian Country Friday, July 8, 2011 Special report 2011 Tasmanian Dairy Conference Global dairy market presents rewards and growing challenges TASMANIAN farmers have been told the future of Tasmania's dairy indus- try looks bright but there are chal- lenges on the horizon. About 250 farmers and industry representatives gathered in Ulver- stone on Tuesday for the 2011 Tasman- ian Dairy Conference with the theme, Looking Ahead For the Tasmanian Dairy Industry. Chris Phillips, from Dairy Aust- ralia, kicked off the program with a discussion about the 2011 Dairy Situ- ation and Outlook report. Mr Phillips said in the medium term global supply would lag behind demand for dairy products. While supply is expected to remain tight, Mr Phillips said moves by the US to be more export focussed and possible increases in production from European, New Zealand and Latin America could eventuate in supply lifting in the coming years. Mr Phillips said India could become a significant player -- during 2009-2010 India produced about 112 million tonnes of dairy products. This is predicted to increase to between 180-200 million tonnes in 2021-2022. Mr Phillips said while this was a significant production increase, a government push to improve stan- dards of living through India was causing a jump in domestic dairy consumption, so it was expected India would remain a net importer of diary products for the next decade. In Australia, Mr Phillips said things were more predictable. ''We do have a mature and devel- oped domestic market here in Aust- ralia,'' he said. Overall sales of dairy products across the country remain positive. A shift to eating more at home has also seen a jump in fresh milk sales across the country. The price war between the country's two biggest supermarket chains has also seen a clear shift in buying trends for fresh milk towards the supermarkets and away from smaller and independent retailers. Across the country this shift has been about 7 per cent while in Tasmania it has been about 9 per cent. Despite the positive market out- looks, Mr Phillips said results from the Situation and Outlook survey showed farmers were not as confident. ''Farmers are sitting on the fence, they're yet to be convinced the good times are here,'' he said. ''International demand for dairy is going to be strong and there are opportunities for us as an industry to grow.'' National Australia bank consumer sector analyst Frank Drum also pain- ted a positive picture about the future of the state's dairy industry. Mr Drum said problems of sover- eign debt in Europe and weakness in overall consumer confidence were significant challenges, but strength in the Asian markets were a good sign for Australia's dairy industry. Mr Drum said moves by European governments to address sovereign debt issues were a positive along with growth in emerging markets. In Australia, Mr Drum said there was a balancing act between less consumer spending and more house- hold saving along with monetary and fiscal policy tightening. Mr Drum said the country's strong export focus combined with minimal government debt and a recovery in the rural sector were all good signs. The high value of the Australian dollar however remains a challenge and could force up interest rates later in the year. Tassie's close-up look at Kiwi carbon copy INDUSTRY INSIGHT: New Zealand researcher Ron Pellow. KAROLIN MacGREGOR WITH Australia on the brink of introducing a carbon tax, New Zea- land researcher Ron Pellow gave participants at this week's Tasman- ian Dairy Conference a look at how carbon trading is working across the Tasman. Mr Pellow is an executive director at the highly regarded South Island Dairying Development Centre and the Lincoln University Farm. He told the conference that New Zealand was quite different to many developed countries because almost half the country's greenhouse gas emissions come from agriculture. In Australia this figure is closer to 20 per cent, and in most developed countries is about 10 per cent. Under the New Zealand Govern- ment's current carbon plan, agricul- ture will be included in the country's emissions trading scheme in 2015. However, Mr Pellow said differing policies between the country's major political parties about the phase-in time-frames for agriculture were making it difficult for producers to plan how to tackle the issue. Working out just how much farms are emitting is also an issue. ''We can't truly assess agricultural emissions at an individual farm level, so it will all be done from estimates,'' Mr Pellow said. ''There are also significant vari- ations in emission across regions.'' He said under this system there were no mechanisms for farmers to benefit from any extra efforts they make at an individual farm level to reduce emissions. Mr Pellow said while New Zealand was a very small emitter in global terms, the country's decision to enter into a carbon trading system was more about continuing market ac- cess than reducing emissions. Research has shown that about 76 per cent of the emissions from New Zealand's agricultural sector come in the form of methane from animals, in particular cows. Nitrous oxide from soil is also another significant greenhouse gas, making up 13 per cent of emissions. Mr Pellow said that when looking at the carbon issue it was important not just to focus on reducing emissions. ''My view is that emissions are really a wasted resource, whether that's methane or nitrous oxide from nitrogen use, those emissions are being wasted as losses from within the system,'' he said. Mr Pellow said rather than becom- ing focused only on reducing emis- sions, it was vital farmers concen- trated on the most significant factors that affect their businesses. ''We should keep focusing on pro- fit, because reduced emissions are one of the benefits that come from that approach,'' he said. ''Whether we agree with climate change or not, we should be focusing on aspects of our business that include resilience planning to deal with climate variability.'' email@example.com Call for submissions National Food Plan Issues Paper The Australian Government is developing a national food plan to help integrate food policy from paddock to plate and protect Australia s food security. The government has released an Issues paper to inform development of a national food plan for consultation and to collect feedback on what a national food plan should cover and aim to achieve. The government seeks your feedback to help it create a suite of ideas and options for a national food plan. Submissions are being sought from interested individuals, businesses and organisations with an interest in food and food policy across the supply chain. Submissions must be: • accompanied by a submission cover sheet • lodged by 5pm Friday 5 August 2011. The government also plans to hold a live webcast discussion on the issues paper as part of its consultation with stakeholders. You can register at www.daff.gov.au/nfp. For further information on the development of the national food plan, the issues paper and how to make a submission, visit www.daff.gov.au/nfp or email firstname.lastname@example.org or write to National Food Plan Unit Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry PO Box 858 Canberra City ACT 2601 AG47821 2054685-110708 JBS AUSTRALIA All types of Livestock required for processing at our Longford & Devonport Plants For a competitive price ring our Livestock Buyers today JBS Australia Tasmanian Livestock Team Tom Archer Livestock Manager M 0419 310 701 Allan Boyce Livestock Buyer M 0419 310 698 Mathew Bosworth Livestock Buyer M 0438 912 161 Gavin Coombe Livestock Buyer M 0437 228 536 JBS Australia would like to thank producers for their continued support. Stonefruit Levy Consultation Stone fruit growers in Tasmania are requested to provide comments on the proposed increase in statutory stone fruit levy and consultations on the future development of the industry. Input from all commercial stone fruit growers is welcome. All stonefruit growers should register for any future ballot on the levy increases. For further information, registration forms and to submit comments please visit www.summerfruit.com.au or email email@example.com 2032598-110708
June 30th 2011
July 14th 2011