WESTERN Australian dairy farmers are being urged to increase their production to take advantage of export opportunities.
A supply shortage in WA has forced one of the state’s largest processors to truck milk in from the eastern states so it can fill export demands in South East Asia.
Challenge Dairy Co-operative chairman Larry Brennan said this was a great opportunity for the company and farmers.
“We were given the opportunity to export milk to this market late last year after we had already committed our milk to contracts,” Mr Brennan said.
“We wanted to honour those commitments but at the same time develop this market for the future.
“It was just too good an opportunity to lose.”
Mr Brennan said customers in South East Asia were desperate for WA’s milk.
“We could nearly supply enough milk but knew we would run short during the autumn period,” Mr Brennan said.
“The customers however were willing to pay for the milk to be trucked in from the eastern states.”
However, ideally the co-operative would like to see all the milk supply coming from WA.
“It is a wonderful opportunity for farmers in WA to increase production and take advantage of these export markets,” Mr Brennan said.
“The whole idea is to grow our milk supply, attract new farmers and new investment into the dairy industry.
“If we can supply more milk to South East Asia, farmers will be able to get true value from the domestic market, something which they haven’t been able to do for a long time.
“And the more profit our co-operative is able to make, the more we can give back to the farmers.”