Dairy is one of Australia’s most important rural industries and was ranked third behind beef and wheat in 2021/22, according to Dairy Australia’s In Focus report released late last year.
The go-to source for all things dairy-related, In Focus shows that Australia’s national milk production decreased slightly from the previous year to 8.6 billion litres, but the value of farmgate production increased to $4.9 billion.
Australian milk consumption remains one of the highest in the developed world, with 90 per cent of households buying milk. Cheese, yoghurt and butter are also regularly purchased.
Of milk produced in 2021/22, 36pc was exported. High commodity prices meant Australia’s exports increased to $3.8 billion, up from $3.2 billion.
Despite relatively high milk prices offered to farmers, the number of dairy farms has fallen. High land and beef prices has led to increased business diversification and farm exits.
Significant labour challenges have been experienced across all dairying regions.
“There are just over 34,700 people are directly employed in the industry, either on farms or with processing companies,” Dairy Australia industry analyst Eliza Redfern said.
“The report shows that employment associated with industry in, for example, transport, distribution and farm services, as well as research and development activities, generates significant economic activity and employment in regional Australia.”
With independent data from across the dairy supply chain, In Focus provides comprehensive information about Australia’s milk production, its position in the global industry, domestic sales and consumption, and the manufacture of dairy products.
For more information and to subscribe to In Focus, visit Dairy Australia