LEVY funds milked from the sale of SADA Fresh products have begun flowing out to industry-led projects.
Since its launch in October 2013, 20 cents from every litre of SADA Fresh-branded milk has been collected for the SA Dairy Industry Fund.
Fund chair Dennis Mutton said at the annoucement of the fund project last week that it was a landmark day for the industry and dairy communities.
“It’s very exciting to get to this point where we’ve accumulated capital in the fund that allows us to start to distribute the funds,” he said.
“Thanks to the vision and the overwhelming support of SA consumers, we are now in a position to finance our first projects which we believe have the potential to make a genuine difference to the industry as a whole.”
Mr Mutton said the first round of funding attracted about eight or nine project submissions, with four selected.
“We were looking for projects that provided a significant opportunity to advance the industry – things that will help it develop and grow,” he said.
“There does seem to be a lot of interest in the industry.”
Mr Mutton said two of the four projects selected in the first round of funding related to attracting outside investment into the local dairy industry.
Mr Mutton said investment was important in expanding farm size, as well as building the processing sector and opening new markets – moves which would lead to greater security and a better milk price for dairyfarmers.
The funding is already being put to good use on one project – the South East Dairy Investment Seminar, which focused on getting businesses ready to attract investment capital.
The event, held in Mount Gambier on Thursday last week, received $3300 from the fund.
The fund will also provide $17,600 to aid the development of an information document promoting SA’s dairy industry and highlighting what it has to offer.
The document will be prepared by dairy analyst and advisor Stephen Spencer with input from the South Australian Dairyfarmers Association, PIRSA, DairySA and the Dairy Authority.
“We need something we can put on the table upfront to help secure investors’ attention – a value proposition that takes their interest to the next level,” Mr Mutton said.
“This document will give them the initial information they need to see that it is worth taking a harder look.”
A third project – exploring the benefits of variable rate irrigation technology for the dairy industry – was awarded $22,000.
Variable rate technology is used in the horticulture industry and has the potential to reduce water and energy.
The project is expected to be completed by December, and is co-funded by DairySA, SARDI and Natural Resources South East.
The industry fund will also finance a three-day workshop aimed at helping young dairyfarmers develop skills in business and their own health.
Source: The Australian Dairyfarmer