AUSTRALIA is bucking the declining dairy consumption trend witnessed in other parts of the industrialised world, an industry leader says.
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Normally when milk supply is higher than consumption demand, dairies produce SMP or milk powder to sell that the peak demand and lean supply season which is just few weeks away | Photo: iStock

Dairy Australia managing director David Nation told The Weekly Times VirtuAg webinar last week that the domestic consumption of dairy products was tracking well.

“(Australia) has one of the highest per capita dairy consumption statistics in the world,” he said. “We’ve retained a strong demand for drinking milk while also rowing cheese and consuming more yoghurt. That is not something you can say about other countries.”

Mr Nation said the latest research on consumer behaviour was promising.

“A recent statistic for example: trust in dairy foods as being healthy and wholesome increased from 81 per cent to 84 per cent over the past year,” he said.

“We know there’s rivalry with non-dairy alternatives but everyone has to remember these key statistics — 89 per cent of consumers think it’s important to support Australian dairy.

“When the rush for supermarket products was on (due to coronavirus) … long-life milk sales surged by 76 per cent in the first four weeks of restrictions. We’ve seen that as well as growth in other categories over the past ten weeks.”

The Dairy Australia chief said the positive retail results were often clouded by other industry trends.

“It’s worth recognising that the past five years have been tumultuous for the dairy industry and one of the consequences is that the industry doesn’t tell it’s story positively enough and dairy remains an Australian success story,” Mr Nation said.

Despite Covid impacting restaurants, Fonterra’s food service business has reached a milestone to become a $3 billion annual revenue business.

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