Media Release

Milking it: dairy industries continue to grow strong

28 November 2014

Dairy industries in Australia continue to expand, with news today that the Berry Rural Cooperative has started building their new processing plant in Berry, New South Wales.
 
Minister for Agriculture, Barnaby Joyce, was in Berry with Member for Gilmore, Ann Sudmalis, to ‘turn the first sod’ and celebrate the bright future of the Berry Rural Cooperative, trading as South Coast Dairy.
 
“I congratulate Berry Rural Cooperative on its work to establish the new plant; the plant will be able to process 18,000 litres per day, increasing its production capacity and therefore driving more demand for locally produced milk,” Minister Joyce said.
 
“Here on the South Coast, the Berry Rural Cooperative is focused on delivering real benefits to local producers—of course it’s about profitability, but it’s also about supporting members, and in turn the community.
 
“Of course, the future is looking brighter not just on the South coast, but for the dairy industry right across Australia. The Coalition Government has made trade and market access a major priority in order to grow and strengthen our primary industries and deliver better farmgate returns to producers.
 
“The recently concluded China Australia Free Trade Agreement, which eliminates all tariffs on Australian dairy exports to China means our industry will be better able to capture future growth in this burgeoning market. Demand for dairy products in China is projected to rise 74 per cent by 2050 according to ABARES.
 
“The historic China Australia FTA – China’s first with a major advanced economy – is one more reason that Australian dairy has a firm foundation on which to plan and invest for a profitable future.
 
“Dairy is an important agricultural industry in Australia; there are over 6,300 dairy farmers across Australia and it’s estimated that the average Australian drinks 106 litres of milk per year.
 
“As a supporter of the cooperative model, it is so great to see Berry Rural Cooperative have the confidence to make this investment – an investment that will support local producers and so many others that rely on the local dairy sector.”
 
Federal Member for Gilmore Ann Sudmalis said that the sod turning of the new Berry plant represented a new chapter in agriculture on the South Coast of NSW.
 
“Gilmore has always been a great dairy producing region, but over the past few years many of our local dairy farmers have been doing it tough,” Mrs Sudmalis said.
 
"Today's sod turning marks a new agricultural chapter for the South Coast, as once completed, we will be producing up to 18,000 litres of local fresh, high quality milk for sale both at home and abroad every day.
 
"I'm especially pleased that Minister for Agriculture Barnaby Joyce was able to join us at this important milestone, expressing the Coalition Government's strong confidence in the continued production of dairy products in Gilmore.”