Australia supporting its dairy sector in difficult times

Published 1 June 16

The financial crisis in Australia’s dairy sector has gained widespread recognition among industry stakeholders which has resulted in a number of measures being announced. Last week, the Australian government announced a support package of AU$555m (approximately £280m) in concessional or recovery loans which will be made available over the next two seasons.

Some of Australia’s banks are also lending support to the sector through various measures such as allowing clients to apply for a suspension to loan repayments, waiving restructuring fees, adjusting lending limits on credit cards and early access to term deposits. In addition to this, Rabobank is offering some of its clients working capital to assist in maintaining current operations and adjusting customers on principal and interest loans to interest only loans for periods of up to 12 months. Meanwhile, Australian retailer Coles has announced plans to launch a new milk brand that will deliver an additional 20 Australian cents (or about 10 pence per litre) to an independent dairy industry fund. The proceeds from which will be used to invest in innovation and to ensure the industry’s future in the long term.