Australian dairy farmers have voted to not change the current levy investment during the 2022 Dairy Poll conducted from February 24 to March 31.
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Dairy Australia's chair and South Australian dairy farmer James Mann thanked farmers for their participation in the poll.

The poll presented farmers an opportunity to vote on investment in the industry’s future with four voting options, determined by an independent Levy Poll Advisory Committee.

The poll offered voters four choices: no change to the levy rate or increases of 15, 20 or 25 per cent.

Dairy Australia has been notified by Link Market Services, the independent company engaged to conduct the vote, that “no change” to the levy was preferred among farmers, receiving 64pc of the votes.

This outcome was also supported by good participation, with 44pc of all eligible votes cast.

Dairy Australia’s chair and South Australian dairy farmer James Mann thanked farmers for their participation in the poll.

“We thank all farmers and people across the industry that have been part of this important process to determine the future investment in the industry,” Mr Mann said.

“Thanks also to the Levy Poll Advisory Committee, who gave a great deal of time and effort to determine the voting options.

“Our collective funds play an important role in delivering services that individual farmers cannot deliver alone – whether that’s research in feed or genetics, or how we respond to challenges such as labour and natural disasters – your contribution will continue to make a big difference for our industry.”

Dairy Australia’s managing director, Dr David Nation, shared Mr Mann’s views.

“We value and appreciate every dollar of the dairy levy, and we will continue to invest it in ways that deliver tangible benefits to farmers,” Dr Nation said.

“It was also pleasing to see 36pc voted for an increase in levy, indicating support for the key areas identified for continuing investment – labour, regional services, climate and policy development – which are critical for our industry’s long-term success.

“We will need to consider how we address these key areas and now work to prioritise investment and services with these areas in mind, along with our current investment mix.”

These investments include research and innovation, supporting farm business management, responding to events such as drought, bushfires, floods or COVID-19, developing tools to adapt to the environment and address climate, supporting on-farm employment needs, marketing of dairy products and commitment to sustainability, policy research, industry insights and international market programs.

Additional details of the results can be found at dairypoll.com.au.

Fonterra says the outlook for dairy is positive, and the co-operative has released an upbeat forecast for its full-year profit.

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