As an industry, we need to keep innovating and adapting, to respond to our customers’ and consumers’ needs and make the foods they want. Fonterra is a leader in investing in dairy research and development globally; not just in new products, but also in gaining those consumer insights that help us develop the foods and technologies that our customers and consumers around the world demand.
It’s also about building a resilient business that is well-placed for the future – focussing on developing the right assets, right partnerships, right product mix, and right cost base. It’s about identifying the right markets for our products, and playing to our strengths, by developing strategic partnerships with globally recognised customers where there are mutual benefits. We’ve done this through long-standing relationships with like-minded companies, including Bellamy’s Organic and The a2 Milk Company.
These are the types of things we’re doing today that make our business more resilient that weren’t part of our landscape just a couple of years ago.
The way processors partner with farmers also needs to change – by working together, we can be bolder and braver.
For example, how do we tackle the challenges of water security, growing our industry, and growing the dairy workforce, together? Building better capability in dairy needs to be a focus, by upskilling the next generation we may be able to stem the flow of farmers leaving our industry.
For Fonterra, it’s about equipping our farmers with the tools that make the job of running their businesses a little bit easier.
This time last year we launched Farm Source – a package of tools and services to assist our farmers in running their farm businesses, and we’ve just rolled out Farm Source Professional across our dairy regions – an on-farm service that encourages suppliers to focus on purpose, to set goals for themselves, and work with our experts across HR, finance, agronomics, milk quality, and animal health and wellbeing to realise those goals.
It complements the work that Dairy Australia does through its farm extension programs, as well as services offered by industry professionals. It’s changing the way we work with our farmers, as we look at ways we can help improve farming systems to better navigate the environmental and other challenges ahead.
In Australia, our industry has an enviable global reputation for making quality dairy foods, and together we’ve built on that reputation to drive demand in growing markets.
Despite the challenges we’re facing, the long-term fundamentals for Australian dairy remain strong. By controlling what we can control, we’re positioning ourselves for success and building a strong future for our industry.