For over 30,000 people in Australia, dairy is a means to make a living and for Australia, it is an important contributor to the economy.
Given the role it plays in our lives it’s not surprising that we’ve found many reasons to love dairy.
1. With us all the way
The first dairy cows to arrive in Australia came on the First Fleet all the way back in 1788, that’s nearly 230 years ago.
The story goes that the 9 dairy cattle; two bulls and 7 cows, that came in 1788 didn’t stay around for long and escaped into the bushland. Six years later in 1794, they were discovered as a herd of over 60.
With our first dairy farmers quickly adapting to the environment, Australia’s dairy industry flourished and by the early 1800’s the first commercial dairy was built which was soon followed by a cheese factory.
By the early 1890’s, just over 100 years since the First Fleet, Australia reached a population of 1 million dairy cattle, firmly establishing the industry as a key contributor to our country.
2. So much goodness produced
Over the 2015/16 financial year, Australia produced over 9.5 billion litres of milk and it is predicted over the 2016/17 year that our farmers will produce 8.8 billion litres of milk. That’s a lot of milk, of which roughly half is exported. The rest? That’s the milk we drink daily and consume in products like butter, yoghurt and cheese.
Being consumed by people for over 10,000 years, milk is considered one of humanities first-foods and has been long-touted for its goodness
- Milk not only feeds you but also the bacteria in your gut. The nutrients in milk act as prebiotics to keep your gut bacteria healthy.
- Milk is one of the most nutritionally dense food you can buy containing nine essential nutrients including protein, calcium, potassium and riboflavin.
3. What would our economy look like without it?
Despite prices of milk hitting lows and major companies unfairly exploiting our farmers, dairy is still very much an important part of Australia’s agricultural sector and indeed the whole economy.
These statistics are amazing:
- Dairy is the third largest agricultural industry in Australia after the cattle and wheat industries.
- ABS Census Data states that in 2011 nearly 20,000 people were employed in dairy production and processing across Victoria alone. Dairy Australia suggests that in 2015 approximately 39,000 people were directly employed in the industry across Australia.
- According to Dairy Australia, $3 billion worth of revenue from dairy exports was generated in the 2015/16 year.
- In the 2015/16 year Australia accounted for 6% of the world trade in dairy products, according to Dairy Australia.