Improving the wellbeing of people

Providing nutritious, safe, quality dairy food

Our challenges and opportunities

Population growth will place increasing pressure on food production, especially demand for protein. Plant based dairy substitutes are gaining attention as consumers increasingly focus on the sustainability credentials of their food supply. The Australian dairy industry is committed to continuous improvement to ensure dairy's role as a part of a healthy, sustainable diet.

Goal 5 - All dairy products and ingredients sold are safe

Safety of dairy products is a top priority for the Australian dairy industry. We take our responsibility for our customers health and wellbeing very seriously. Safety standards remained extremely high during the year.

How we performed in 2019:

  • 100% compliance during the Australian Milk Residue Analysis Survey
  • There were 11 food safety recalls in 2019, up from 8 in 2018
  • The percentage of consumers who agree Australia produces high quality dairy products increased 3% to 86% as measured in the 2019 Dairy Trust Tracker survey, continuing an upward trend since the Framework commenced reporting against this target.

Key initiatives

These initiatives are driving change in food safety.

  • Australian Milk Residue Analysis (AMRA)

    The annual AMRA survey is the national residue monitoring program for agricultural and veterinary chemicals and environmental contaminants in milk and provides valuable evidence that the dairy industry’s food safety systems are operating effectively. Each year, representatives of the Commonwealth and State governments and the dairy industry meet to review current and emerging food safety risks. These risks relate to actual food safety as well as trade risks where importing countries have different safety levels and require Australia to demonstrate how it manages these risks.

  • Dairy Manufacturing Resource Centre

    The Dairy Manufacturing Resource Centre provides a range of resources to support dairy companies, including materials relating to trade, learning materials, food safety programs, product testing, and webinar information.

Case Study: Secret to top quality milk is all-round approach

Despite facing challenging seasonal conditions, Chris Hibberson received a 2019 Dairy Australia Milk Quality Award.

  • The Northern Victorian dairy farmer entered the top 100 producers for milk quality nationwide by maintaining his focus on mastitis management and milk quality, resulting in better outcomes for his herd health and his bottom line.
  • For Chris, producing high quality milk comes down to three factors – maintaining excellent teat condition, early detection and treatment of mastitis, and herd testing.
  • Monthly herd testing allows Chris and Nicole to see which cows are more prone to mastitis and how they respond to treatments. This information informs decisions about their herd during a tight season.

Goal 6 - Dairy contributes to improved health outcomes for all Australians

Poor diet is the leading preventable health risk factor globally, contributing to 7.3% of disease in Australia in 2015, according to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. Underpinning a sustainable dairy industry is consumer demand for a healthy, nutritious product. Milk, cheese and yoghurt contain a unique package of essential vitamins and minerals that support good health.

How we performed in 2019:

  • 80% of consumers surveyed agreed with the statement “Dairy foods are essential for good health and wellbeing.”
  • Dairy continues to be recognised as an important part of a healthy diet under the Australian Dietary Guidelines.

Key Initiatives

These initiatives are driving change to health in Australian communities.

  • Dairy Matters


    A consumer marketing and promotion campaign launched during the year to build trust through transparency by providing factual information about dairy products and industry practices.

  • Encouraging good nutrition

    Dairy Australia has developed a communications strategy to address public concerns and expectations of the dairy industry and nutrition. It aims to provide objective and transparent information to help engaged members of the community and those who influence them, to make informed decisions about the health and nutrition of dairy and industry practices.

  • Dairy’s place in low Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions diets

    The dairy industry commissioned CSIRO to investigate the place of dairy in higher quality/lower GHG emission diets in Australia and it found milk, cheese and yoghurt have an important role in achieving adequate nutrient intakes in a healthy and lower GHG emissions dietary pattern in Australia.
  • Aged care fracture trial

    A study funded by Dairy Australia and other international dairy organisations found that providing the recommended amount of dairy foods is likely to be a simple and cost-effective method of reducing the significant malnutrition risk in institutionalised elderly.

  • Healthy Bones Action Week

    This annual week calls on Australians of all ages to take three actions to build and maintain healthy bones, including increasing daily serves of calcium through milk, cheese or yoghurt.

  • Obesity policies

    Following a Deakin University report that ranked the nutrition policies of Australia’s biggest food and beverage manufacturers, dairy companies are developing public statements of responsible consumption in line with Australian Dietary Guidelines and customised to each business.

Case Study: Dairy improves heart health

Research investigated the impact on heart health of a Mediterranean diet that includes additional serves of dairy foods to meet Australian recommendations for dairy and calcium intake, and found the extra dairy foods improve heart health and lead to lower blood pressure.

  • Lead researcher Dr Karen Murphy said it was a randomised, controlled trial conducted on participants aged 45 to 75 years who were at risk of cardiovascular disease.
  • “With the dairy-rich Mediterranean diet, we saw significantly lower blood pressure, lower heart rates, and beneficial changes in blood lipid profiles,” Dr Murphy said.


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