THE QDO conference at Toowomba on September 16th has been hailed as an outstanding success
The day-long event featured a packed program of informative speakers, with the day’s presentations followed by the QDO annual general meeting (AGM) in the afternoon and an informal barbeque style dinner in the evening.
While the industry continues to face challenges, the conference provided a great chance to network with other farmers, industry reps, and our conference sponsors, while also hearing about the latest opportunities for the dairy industry.
The theme of the day was “New Horizons” which was very apt as the conference had a strong focus on looking ahead to potential opportunities and challenges on the horizon for our industry.
The challenges that farmers and the dairy supply chain face presently are well known, but it was a refreshing chance to discuss some of the positive opportunities that are ahead. We have seen in recent months that the post farm-gate section of the value chain is slowly showing some greater appreciation of the value of Queensland milk and just how short we have become in Queensland of meeting our own drinking milk needs.
This has resulted in some modest price rises for farmers from some processors, but given the huge shortfall in supply and the losses the industry has incurred from the milk price war and natural disasters, more will be needed.
We also heard about positives in the world market over the long term, particularly with China’s growing demand for milk, whether that is through new ventures looking to export fresh milk via air freight or other innovative ideas. In addition it could be with more wide-spread benefits that could flow with a beneficial Free Trade Agreement with China and tapping markets such as the boom in potential for infant formula or UHT.
Clearly, there is huge potential if there is serious intent from everyone in the industry to help us fully realise these opportunities.
A highlight of the day was the chance to hear directly from two of the State’s leading farmers on their thoughts for the future of the industry. These were Paul Roderick from Harrisville and David Kucks from Quinalow, both of whom outlined the range of challenges and opportunities that we face.
With bright minds like Paul and David keen to make a future in our industry, it is clear that there is enormous potential for the Queensland dairy industry in the long-term, once the current market failure issues can be rectified.
A similar style event is planned for Gympie on November 5th which will incorporate the SubTropical Dairy AGM on the 6th November. Brochures will be made available to all QLD Dairyfarmers in the next couple of weeks and a copy will be made available for download here when ready.
The QDO would like to thank and acknowledge the tremendous support of our Conference Sponsors: