​​​Dairy in Australia

Dairy is one of Australia’s most important rural industries, producing about 9.4 billion litres of milk annually2 and directly employing approximately 43,000 people3. The majority of milk production occurs on the south-east seaboard in Victoria, New South Wales, and Tasmania.

Australia exports approximately 38 per cent (13/14) of its milk production4 which was valued at $2.2billion in 2014/155. A large proportion of exports are in the form of value-added products such as cheese, butter, ultra-heat treated milk and milk powders. Australian dairy is exported around the world.

Australian Dairy Farmers (ADF) is the national advocacy body representing dairy farmers around Australia. ADF also has a policy body called the Australian Dairy Industry Council (ADIC). The partnership forms a national policy and advocacy body working to improve entire value chain sustainability and profitability.

The national services body for the Australian dairy industry is Dairy Australia, the industry-owned national service organisation funded by farmer levies, with matching research and development funds from the Australian Government.

Dairy Australia has eight Regional Development Programs (RDPs) that cater for local dairy farmer needs in Gippsland, Subtropical, Western Victoria, New South Wales, Murray Dairy, South Australia, Tasmania and Western Australia.

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Statistics & Industry information

  • Detailed statistics and information about the Australian dairy industry are available from Dairy Australia. This includes data on prices, production, exports and forecasts for the dairy industry.
  • The Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) also produce detailed data about the dairy industry through quarterly Agricultural Commodities forecasts and publications. They are available at ABARES Publications for viewing and download.

Other Links

  • Australian Dairy Products Federation - ADPF is the peak policy body for commercial/non-farm members of the Australian dairy industry and is open to entities operating in Australia who are engaged in the manufacture, marketing or trading of dairy products and/or dairy related products.
  • Australian Dairy Industry Council – Represents the interests of Australian dairy’s whole value chain through is two bodies, Australian Dairy Farmers and Australian Dairy Products Federation.

The Dairy Levy

Milk producers in Australia must pay a Dairy Services Levy based on milk production. This levy provides funding for the dairy industry services body, Dairy Australia and is invested in research and development and industry services with the aim of increasing farm productivity, maintaining and developing value-added markets and products, and promotion of the industry. More information about the levy investment can be found at Dairy Australia, or on the department’s levies and dairy levies page.

I want to import dairy  

I want to export dairy

Other enquiries

Any other enquiries about the domestic dairy industry can be directed to the wool and dairy inbox or call 1800 900 090.

​​​​​​​​Dairy Quotas

The Department of Agriculture and Water Resources​ manages export quotas for dairy produce where limited preferential market access has been negotiated (tariff rate quotas).

The department, in conjunction with Dairy Australia and the dairy industry, assumed responsibility of dairy World Trade Organisation (WTO) quota controlled markets in 2004 and subsequent Free Trade Agreement (FTA) quota controlled markets.

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Current Procedures

From October 2009, significant​ changes to the administration of EU and US dairy tariff rate quotas were introduced. These changes affected the allocation and management of quota for the 2010 quota year and onward. The following guidelines give details of the arrangements including application fees:

The following documents may continue to be used when entering Request For Permits (RFP's) into EXDOC for quota product and destination:

First-come-first-served FCFS quota amounts

After annual allocations of quota have been made, some categories of quota may become available on a basis as an allocation for several shipments or on a one-off basis. A $200 application fee applies to FCFS allocations, but not to FCFS one-off shipments. A fee of $0.014/kg applies to all FCFS quota. There are no eligibility or volume restrictions on accessing FCFS quota. To apply for FCFS quota, please download the appropriate form (below) and fax or email it to the department.

Applications for 2014 Dairy Quota

Applications for the 2014 European Union and United States Dairy Quotas are now due. Please see the attached flyer for further information.

Important dates and quota amounts for 2013 quota

Application, quota transfer and quota return forms

Quota Reviews

If you have any urgent enquiries relating to applications for quota, please call the department on 02 6272 5819 or email Quota Admin.

​​Export Notice

Export Fees and charges 1 July 2011

The government is funding the Export Certification Reform Package (ECRP), worth $127.4 million until mid 2011. The ECRP has funded reform activities to increase the efficiency of the export processes, improve market access and reduce regulatory costs.

As part of the ECRP, $85.3 million was provided for fee rebates to assist exporter’s transition to full cost recovery. This funding is being used to provide a 40 per cent offset of the full cost impact on export industries and will cease 30 June 2011. The rebates have been automatically applied to all invoiced fees and charges since 1 December 2009.

From 1 July 2011, export certification and inspection services will operate under full cost recovery. 

The Dairy Ministerial Taskforce (MTF), formed in April 2009, has been discussing the fees and charges to be applied to the Dairy industry. The MTF has decided that a new model for fees and charges will be considered later in 2011 to allow time for the new service delivery model to be implemented.

The fees and charges that apply to the export of dairy products from 1 July 2011 are the current fees not including the rebate, and are provided in Attachment A.

Associated Charging Guidelines are available on the Department of Agriculture website.

Further detail can be obtained by contacting

Shayne Daniels
Dairy Export Program
Phone: 03 8308 5045

Attachment A

Dairy Export Program Fees and Charges 1 July 2011

Fee/Charge TypeUnitCharge
Storage Establishment - Dairyannual$1,820.00
Corporation / Co-operative Exporting < 2000tneannual$4,275.00
Corporation / Co-operative Exporting > 2000tneannual$7,729.00
Registration applicationapplication$600.00
Fee for service
Fee/Charge TypeUnitCharge
Fee-For-Serviceqtr hour$33.00
Fee/Charge TypeUnitCharge
EXDOC Certificationdocument$21.00
Manual Certificationdocument$100.00
Replacement Certificatedocument$500.00
Fee/Charge TypeUnitCharge
Time and Half - Continuousqtr hour$12.00
Time and Half - Non- Continuousqtr hour$144.00
Double Time - Continuousqtr hour$16.00
Double Time - Non- Continuousqtr hour$192.00
Double Time and Half - Continuousqtr hour$20.00
Double Time and Half - Non- Continuousqtr hour$240.00

2 Estimate based on ABARES data
3 Dairy Industry in focus 2014
4 Dairy Industry in focus 2014
5 Estimate based on ABARES data

Last reviewed:
25 Sep 2015