Australian Dairy Sustainability Framework
Australian dairy is serious about being sustainable. Learn about our internationally recognised Sustainability Framework and our commitments to our people, animals, the community and planet.
Australian dairy promises to provide nutritious food for a healthier world. Through the Australian Dairy Industry Sustainability Framework, we report against our promise and commitments to dairy people, the wellbeing of the community, our animals and the environment.
The ambition in our whole-of-industry Framework is aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, the global blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all.
Discover more about our Framework and sustainability initiatives in the Australian dairy sector below.
Our Sustainability Framework and Dairy Promise
The Australian Dairy Sustainability Framework was launched in 2012 following extensive consultation with dairy farmers and manufacturers as well as stakeholders including government, retailers, customers, NGOs and interest groups.
Our internationally recognised Framework seeks to consider all issues along the value chain that have the potential to affect the sustainability of the dairy industry. As such, the Framework continues to be revised and enhanced to respond to a changing world.
Four commitments in the Framework underpin Our Dairy Promise - to provide nutritious food for a healthier world. The Framework allows us to measure and publicly report against them.
The goals and targets in the Framework are set to 2030 – the same as the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Here we explain how our goals align with the SDGs.
The Framework is also informed by membership of the global Dairy Sustainability Framework and of Sustainability Agriculture Initiative (SAI) Platform's dairy working group.
Over the coming years, using the Framework as a guide, and assisted by tools, research and services from Dairy Australia, Australian dairy farmers and manufacturers will continue to make progress on sustainability.
Our sustainability commitments
Our Dairy Promise is underpinned by four commitments to industry profitability, human health and nutrition, animal welfare and adapting to climate change.
Since 2012, the goals and targets for each commitment have been tracked, measured and publicly reported through the Australian Dairy Sustainability Framework.
Discover more about our four commitments by clicking on the links below:
Sustainability Framework governance
The Australian Dairy Industry Council (ADIC) is the dairy industry's peak policy body. The ADIC has overall responsibility for the Framework — setting and reporting progress against the Framework targets and performance measures.
Dairy Australia, the industry-owned national service body, facilitates and supports the ADIC in developing and implementing the Framework.
A Steering Committee was established in 2012 to drive the ongoing development and implementation of the Framework.
Engagement with stakeholders within and beyond the dairy industry has been a cornerstone of the development and implementation of the Framework, and is critical to ensure it remains robust and relevant. Our stakeholders include:
- the dairy industry (farmers and manufacturers)
- primary industries
- non-government groups
- special interest groups and others.
This takes place through the formal mechanisms of the Dairy Sustainability Steering Committee and the Dairy Industry Sustainability Consultative Forum (twice yearly), as well as consultation with industry representative bodies and other stakeholders on specific issues facing the industry.
View the latest Sustainability Consultative Forum Report Oct 2021.
Dairy Manufacturers Sustainability Council
Dairy manufacturers engage regularly through the Dairy Manufacturers Sustainability Council (DMSC) – a nationally-recognised community of practice. The purpose of this group is to improve environmental compliance and the sustainability of their operations. Click here for more information or to become a member.
The Framework is informed by independent Materiality Assessments to ensure the priorities identified in the Sustainability Framework are the most material issues. The assessment was updated in 2019/20 and was informed by various standards and guidance including the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Standards.
The most material topics were identified as product safety and quality, water availability and efficiency, animal care, physical climate risk, farm biosecurity, antimicrobial stewardship, calves (including bobby calves), animal husbandry, resilience of dairy regions, greenhouse gas emissions.
A series of recommendations is now under consideration to determine how industry might respond to findings from the Materiality Assessment. Download a copy of the Materiality Assessment report here.
To ensure the Materiality Assessment was carried out in a credible and robust manner, Bureau Veritas, an independent accrediting organisation, was asked to provide their view. The Management Statement from Bureau Veritas is available here.
Learn more about sustainable Australian dairy
Watch to learn more about sustainable Australian dairy.
Healthy Sustainable Diets
With the support of Australian dairy farmers and processors, the industry has made commitments towards providing healthy, sustainable foods now and into the future.Read more
Buy. Support. Enjoy Aussie Dairy
Does supporting local matter to you? Find out how you can get behind Aussie farmers and do good for your health and our communities.Read more
The Australian dairy industry is moving rapidly towards a more sustainable future, to transition towards a reimagined food system that is better for farmers, the dairy industry, consumers and the planet.Read more