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Find out about manufacturing innovation and sustainability in the Australian dairy industry.

Manufacturing innovation and sustainability

Market need/context

  • The value that dairy farmers receive for their milk at the farm gate is dependent upon the profitability of the processing community which they supply.
  • For the Australian dairy industry to achieve sustainable profitability and improved resilience in the face of climate variability and market volatility, it is critical that the entire supply chain remains innovative and internationally competitive.
  • Dairy Australia has a role to play in supporting the competitiveness of the industry's post-farm gate activities in areas where there is obvious market failure and where the resulting IP can be utilised to improve how the processing sector is positioned and structured to meet future challenges through improved margins and strengthening of the overall knowledge and technology/asset base.
  • Through targeted initiatives which support manufacturing innovation and sustainability Dairy Australia can help farmers manage downstream risk while also supporting the industry to take advantage of domestic growth and the huge export opportunities developing in Asia.

General approach/strategy

As a result of an increased competition within the processing community and therefore a reluctance by the major processors to participate in early-stage collaborative R & D activities, DA and the other industry members associated with DIAL, have elected to discontinue support for DIAL. DA will assist with the privatisation and/or wind-down of the DIAL organisation.

DA will reduce the annual committed spend and provide discretionary support via three main initiatives:

  1. Accelerating Technology Transfer
  2. Enhancing Capability Networks And Knowledge-Sharing Platforms
  3. Elevating manufacturing sustainability

Collectively these initiatives aim to improve whole-of-sector support by undertaking activities which;

  • Are more inclusive of SMEs and vertically integrated farmer-processors
  • Work to identify and target common processor challenges
  • Focus on driving implementation of more commercially mature technologies
  • Practically address current barriers/hurdles to implementation
  • Facilitate purpose-driven connections with local and international capability and knowledge resources
  • Assist with collective processor-related targets under the Australian Dairy Industry Sustainability Framework
  • Enhance the processing sectors; a) environmental performance, b) food safety and quality credentials, c) social license to operate, d) international reputation, e) risk exposure, f) cohesion with respect to export markets, and g) costs of production.

Technology transfer will be achieved via sub-activities which seek to address identified barriers to uptake. Specifically;

  • The DA Technology Assessment Scheme (DATA) will provide support for techno-economic evaluation of emerging technologies identified by manufacturers as having potential value but outside of their normal point of operation.
  • The Grant Access Support (GAS) Scheme will provide grant-writing assistance to manufacturers which will facilitate access to larger external funding sources and enables implementation of process improvements normally outside of a given company's capital approval hurdles.
  • Development of manufacturing focused web-based platform which provides tailored insights into, a) DA's support programs, b) external funding and grant opportunities, c) Export market access, d) Australian and international technical expertise, e) Australian and international R&D capability, f) new and emerging technology and knowledge of interest, g) DA's library resources and prior R&D outcomes (i.e. case studies and reports), h) workshops/conferences of relevance, i) industry news, and, j) web-based tools to support the processors (i.e. DA's 'Build your own dairy factory'; App).
  • Support for the Small Dairy Network (SDN) and partial support for the Dairy Manufacturer's Sustainability Council (DMSC) Coordinator both of which are vehicles for enhancing engagement between DA and the processing community while at the same time providing a forum for knowledge exchange and facilitating greater cohesion amongst the dairy processors such that they can collectively respond to industry challenges.

In This Section

  • Copy Link Supporting manufacturing innovation and sustainability

    Supporting manufacturing innovation and sustainability


    To support the sustainability of the Australian dairy processing community for the benefit of Australian dairy farmers by improving industry cohesion and accelerating the implementation of innovative technologies and practices which reduce the costs of production and distribution of Australian dairy products as well as improve and promote the manufacturer's environmental performance thereby adding value and enhancing international competitiveness.

    3 year plan focus

    • Oversee DIAL transition and DA exit (including legacy projects such as the ARC Dairy Innovation Hub). Ensure best use of assets and IP for the Australian dairy industry.
    • Implement programs which support revised support strategy for manufacturers such as the DATA Scheme and Grant Access Support (GAS) Scheme. Monitor success and adjust as required.
    • Develop and maintain on-line resources to support manufacturers.
    • Migrate management of DMSC and SDN from DIAL to DA.
    • Explore collaborative opportunities and mechanisms to leverage additional support.


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