AUSTRALIA is the fourth largest global exporter of dairy products, despite some key input costs for Australian dairy farmers and processors (e.g. labour) being relatively high on global comparisons.
Given that milk production and the value of dairy exports is projected to have modest growth in the short term, value-added manufactured dairy products must be a focus.
While Australia's regulatory system has an outstanding reputation, small and medium businesses have reported that the regulatory compliance to become export-ready can be challenging.
For some manufacturers, regulatory requirements can be a barrier to entering the export markets.
- Dairy exports into ASEAN-6 nations set to boom in next decade
- Australian agricultural exports worth $49.6 billion in 2020-2021
Processors that don't access the global market fail to maximise the value they can generate from their milk.
This may mean they fail to maximise the potential milk price that these processors can offer their dairy farmer suppliers.
The Dairy Export Assurance Program (DEAP) is an exciting partnership between the Australian Government, state regulatory agencies and industry to deliver an improved regulatory framework for the dairy industry.
It aims to make it easier for processors to export and reduce some of the regulatory burden that can be a barrier to accessing high-value overseas markets.
The DEAP program of work consists of three projects that focus on raising export awareness, reducing regulatory burden and streamlining audit arrangements in the dairy sector.
The three projects will:
- Identify regulatory hurdles and develop and implement strategies to improve the transition and costs associated with domestic dairy manufacturers becoming export approved.
- Work with industry and regulators to better align food safety in regulatory and commercial assurance programs.
- Work toward reducing regulatory intervention and burden through the use of key hygiene and data indicators.
The Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment is partnering with Dairy Australia to co-design and co-deliver DEAP.
Dairy Australia is uniquely positioned to support the department with this work program due to its significant expertise with the dairy industry, established and trusted relationships with trading partners, government regulators and the department, and a proven track record in delivering outcomes that benefit the entire industry.
The program will encourage input from all industry sectors and regulators to ensure that project outputs and trials benefit from the experience of those using and applying the system.
DEAP is looking to understand the experience of businesses seeking to become export registered, including how and where they source and use information to prepare for the process.
Customers in importing markets may also require exporters to have internationally recognised audit accreditation.
DEAP is seeking to understand what overlap this presents with regulatory requirements and what potential there is to streamline these requirements.
The dairy export system has not significantly evolved in a long time and as science and technology advances so should the system.
DEAP is seeking to create a modern regulatory system based on risk and best practice that eases the burden on industry across the entire supply chain from dairy farms, transporters, manufacturers, storage facilities right through to the goods being exported from Australia.
DEAP is now eight months into the program of work. Products, research and outputs are continuing to be developed around stakeholder engagement to help ensure any system changes result in improvements to the current experience for those seeking to become dairy exporters.
An Export Facilitator service was implemented in February 2021 to aid dairy manufacturers looking to become export registered and registered manufacturers looking for new opportunities.
Encouragingly, through the implementation of this service DEAP has already recorded an improvement in the time it takes from application to registration.
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