The production of milk and dairy products touches the lives of up to a billion people, from family-run farms to international businesses. The dairy industry makes a significant contribution to regional New Zealand and to the national economy.
In New Zealand and around the world our industry plays an important role in supporting rural livelihoods and community development.
In developing countries, dairy cows provide a daily source of food and cash, unlike other crops or meat. Cows also generate manure, which is valuable as a fertiliser, fuel and construction material, creating other sources of income. Farm animals are also a popular asset among rural women, and often provide the stepping-stone for rural women to start creating a better place for themselves in their communities.
As a co-operative, we are owned by 10,000 farmer shareholders in New Zealand. The money we earn through exporting dairy products around the world is returned to our farmer shareholders in the regions. Last year we returned $10 billion to our New Zealand farmer suppliers.
We provide employment opportunities throughout rural New Zealand. A recent study by the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research (NZIER) for DCANZ2 showed New Zealand’s dairy industry employs over 40,000 people; 27,500 worked on farms and 13,000 were involved in dairy processing. These workers are paid higher wages than comparable jobs in other industries.
Our focus is on improving the long-term well-being of our farmers and communities.
- Support healthy sustainable livelihoods for our farmers by returning the most value from every drop of milk by driving volume to higher value
- Provide positive livelihoods for our people by developing a diverse, skilled and agile workforce and promoting a healthy and safe working environment
- Invest in the future of our communities by sharing what we do best and building farming capability in key emerging dairy markets.