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.
Dairy Australia said that ‘no change’ to the levy was preferred among farmers, receiving 64pc of the votes.
Farmers have been paying 2.8683 cents per kilogram of milk fat and 6.9914c/kg protein since 2012.
The Levy Poll Advisory Committee recommended a 20pc rise, which received 28.3pc of the valid votes.
Dairy Australia’s chair, South Australian dairy farmer James Mann, thanked all farmers and people across the industry who had been part of the important process to determine the future investment in the industry.
“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,” Mr Mann said.
Dairy Australia’s Managing Director, Dr David Nation, said the organisation valued and appreciated every dollar of the dairy levy and would continue to invest it in ways that delivered tangible benefits to farmers.
“It was also pleasing to see 36 per cent 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,” Dr Nation said.
“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.