The Australian dairy industry is at a crossroads. It is an industry in decline, with national milk production now at 8.8bn litres, down by more than 10% since 2008-09. The number of dairy farmers has also decreased from 8,000 to just over 5,000 over the same period. The underlying trend has continued towards fewer farms, larger herds and increasing levels of milk production per farm. The drop in milk production has been blamed on the recent closure of Fonterra’s factory in southwest Victoria.
Australia is a significant exporter of dairy products and in 2018-19 exported 35% of milk produced, worth $3.2bn