Australia is scaling up its efforts to capitalise on India’s booming dairy sector by partnering with local firms for ‘long-term engagement’, amid projections that demand could continue to outstrip supply until 2035.
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Pouring milk in the glass on the background of nature.

The move is part of the Australian Government’s $6 million Agricultural Trade and Market Access Cooperation (ATMAC) programme to build stronger relationships with trading partners, neighbouring countries and international organisations.

Under the scheme, Minister for Agriculture, Drought and Emergency Management David Littleproud said national body Dairy Australia had been awarded a $76,400 grant to build a long-term engagement plan with Indian dairy industry counterparts.

“India is the world’s fastest growing large economy and projected to be the third largest in the world by 2035 with 1.6 billion citizens,”​ Littleproud said. ​

“India is one of Australia’s great friends, with significant opportunities to expand our trade relationship. ​

“Consumer demand in India for dairy milk products is expected to outpace supply until 2035 and there will also be enormous demand for value-added milk products. ​ ​

“Our dairy farmers and processors are renowned here and abroad for their high-quality products. The ATMAC project will support long-term strategic engagement between the Australian and Indian dairy sectors to explore ways to improve collaboration and identify mutually beneficial opportunities.​ ​

“The project is taking a long-term focus and aims to position Australian dairy farmers, processors and supply chains as preferred partners for their Indian counterparts into the future.​ ​

“With trade and exports one of the seven key themes the government has set in action in support of industry’s $100 billion Ag2030 target, it is important we keep building strategic partnerships like this.”​

Combined approach

Dairy Australia Managing Director Dr David Nation said long-term partnerships in trade that included both government and industry support were vital for the industry. “Joint activities are supporting trade to India, with comprehensive research into the Indian dairy market to gain an understanding of India’s supply chain, state of the industry, key stakeholders and consumer behaviours—to inform where there are the greatest opportunities for strategic partnerships that benefit both Australian and Indian dairy farmers,”​ Dr Nation said.

“As part of the project, a report on the Indian dairy sector has already been produced to provide an overview for Australian industry participants to better understand the Indian production systems and market.​ ​

“It is hoped this initial step will help focus Australian dairy businesses on possible areas for cooperation and relationships.”

The potential sale by Fonterra of its Australian operations could have implications for the course of Australia’s entire dairy sector over the next five to 10 years, according to ANZ’s latest Agri Commodity Report.

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