Dairy Tomorrow — NZ dairy sector launches new strategic vision

Monday, 27 November, 2017

Dairy Tomorrow — NZ dairy sector launches new strategic vision

New Zealand’s dairy sector has launched its ‘Dairy Tomorrow’ strategy, a joint sector-led initiative involving DairyNZ, Federated Farmers, DCANZ and Dairy Women’s Network.

A new strategic vision for the sector, Dairy Tomorrow is intended to lead to a longer term conversation about what New Zealand’s future farm and food systems could look like, according to DairyNZ Chief Executive Tim Mackle.

“Our shared vision is to improve lives with every drop of New Zealand milk, whether those are the lives of our dairy people, our communities or our consumers,” said Dr Mackle.

“We believe sustainable dairy farming has a critical role to play in New Zealand’s future prosperity and wellbeing — a future with a focus on farming within environmental limits while maintaining our profitability and success on the global market.”

The Dairy Tomorrow strategy has six commitments and 22 corresponding goals. The commitments are as follows:

  1. We will protect and nurture the environment for future generations.
  2. We will build the world’s most competitive and resilient dairy farming businesses.
  3. We will produce the highest quality and most valued dairy nutrition.
  4. We will be world leading in on-farm animal care.
  5. We will build great workplaces for New Zealand’s most talented workforce.
  6. We will help grow vibrant and prosperous communities.

Dr Mackle noted that some goals have firm time frames in place while others are more aspirational.

“We want to begin straight away collaborating on strategies and actions toward achieving swimmable waterways and finding new opportunities to reduce or offset our greenhouse gas emissions,” he said. “These actions will be ongoing priorities.

“At the same time we've put some deadlines in place for implementing new initiatives, including to develop cutting-edge science and technology solutions and to implement a new framework for world-leading on-farm animal care.”

Barry Harris, acting chair for DairyNZ, said the commitments and goals within the strategy will help prepare the sector for the future, stating, “Overall they reflect what is important to the farmers and stakeholders who contributed to the development of the strategy.

“We heard very clearly that farmers want options and solutions to help them farm sustainably. Maintaining our international competitiveness is essential, and leveraging new digital and other technologies will be essential to that.

“We also want to ensure that New Zealand dairy remains a valued part of the diet. That requires us to be open and transparent about our performance. We know the demand for high-quality dairy will always exist, so long as we can prove our production chain is sustainable.

“Another key theme is the importance of people to the sector. We need to focus on bringing talented people into the dairy sector, providing them with a great work environment and helping them to develop their careers.”

John Wilson, chairman of Fonterra, stated that Dairy Tomorrow “balances the need for sustainable farming while also recognising that dairy provides strong returns to our communities and New Zealand’s economy”. He thanked DairyNZ Chairman Michael Spaans for unifying the sector through the development of the strategy.

Zelda de Villiers, chief executive of the Dairy Women’s Network, added that Dairy Tomorrow “makes progress where we know more is needed”, setting out “a strategic vision for what we want to achieve together as a sector over the coming decade and beyond”.

“I believe that we are already well on our way to being world leading,” said de Villiers. “But collectively, these goals will mean we will improve our productivity and competitiveness while ensuring we have the trust of our communities, and that Kiwis value us as a sector.”

Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/Savo Ilic

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