Dairy

Victoria is the dairy heartland of Australia.

We are the nation's largest dairy producing and exporting state (by volume and value) accounting for 80 per cent of Australia's dairy exports, which were worth around $1.8 billion in 2015-16. Our strengths as a dairy producer, processor and exporter are supported by a supply-base flourishing in clean pastures, some of the world's best drinking water and a mild climate.

A quality assured industry

The dairy industry is one of Victoria's largest agricultural industries, producing a wide and diverse range of products for domestic and export markets with a gross value of $7.7 billion as at 2015-16.

The global recognition Victoria receives for producing some of the world's most premium dairy products is backed by high food safety standards, strong local research, advanced infrastructure, government support and complete traceability of our production and supply chain. Victoria has internationally recognised and transparently demonstrated food safety standards, and is a leader in dairy food safety innovation. Dairy Food Safety Victoria licenses all dairy premises operating in Victoria, ensuring traceability across all parts of the dairy production and supply chain.

A positive global demand outlook provides a plethora of opportunities to achieve strong industry growth in dairy that were not available a decade ago.

Dairy Cows

Innovative, premium products

Our world-class, innovative research and development sector works closely with Victoria's dairy farmers – ensuring the industry maintains its reputation as a mature, well resourced, well organised and internationally competitive market.

Victoria has world-leading dairy research and education institutions, such as Dairy Innovation Australia, the Gardiner Dairy Foundation. It also has a high performing technology sector and a large and diverse processing industry that specialises in high- value products that attract a price premium in global markets. Joint investment by government and industry in pre-farm gate RD&E has contributed to productivity growth in Victorian dairy.

RD&E has played a role in improving the nutrition of pastures and feed used, as well as ongoing improvements to dairy cow genetics. These factors combined have contributed to industry (per cow) yield increases of around 25 per cent over the past 20 years.

Globally connected
The Victorian dairy industry has well established trade routes into Asia, backed by strong relationships. Victoria also has world-class export infrastructure. It is home to Australia’s largest container and general cargo port as well as Australia’s largest international airfreight terminal, which operates curfew-free.
Strong government support

Victoria’s dairy industry is backed by a strong and active group of industry bodies, which along with the Victorian Government, offer a range of support programs. These groups ensure that dairy producers in Victoria remain globally competitive and at the forefront of transformational innovation in the industry.

Victoria's premium dairy products include:

  • fresh milk and cream
  • bulk cheese and specialty cheeses
  • whey and other milk proteins
  • milk powder
  • infant formula
  • yoghurt, fermented milk and ice cream
  • UHT and extended shelf-life milk
  • butter, fats and oils.

Fast facts

  • Victoria accounted for 79 per cent of national dairy exports in 2017-18.
  • Japan remained the largest export market for dairy products in 2017-18, valued at $442 million
  • Victoria's dairy exports were valued at $1.9 billion in 2017-18
  • The diversity of products that Victoria produces and exports helps to reduce risk and enable greater responsiveness to changing market conditions. The industry is continually innovating with new products to create commodities and value-added specialty products that meet the demands of Asian importers
  • During 2017-18, China approved market access protocols for five new Australian infant formula companies (all of which were from Victoria), demonstrating China's continued interest in accessing Victoria's high-quality dairy products

Discover how your business can import from Victoria

The Australian Food and Agribusiness Directory

Food and Innovation Australia (FIAL), the Australian Institute of Food Science and Technology (AIFST) and the Australian Institute of Packaging (AIP), in collaboration with Data61 have created an easy-to-use searchable map of Australia that will help you connect with other stakeholders from across the entire industry value chain.