Innovation could see dairy exports rise significantly

THE state government is working to keep raw milk fresher for longer as part of a trial that could unlock more export opportunities and create a sustainable future for dairy farmers.

Minister for Regional Development and Agriculture Mary-Anne Thomas recently announced the completion of the White Tide project trial that has tested technology to extend the shelf
life of raw milk, enabling it to be exported as part of the state government’s ‘Stronger Regional Communities Program’.

Dairy farmers are currently restricted by a 36-hour limit in which raw milk must be processed before it spoils, which prevents them from tapping into overseas export markets.

The trial looks into new game-changing technology that effectively stops the clock, with patented processes and a 24,000-litre tank enabling raw milk to be stored significantly longer and shipped direct from the farm gate to Asia.

This innovation meets strict international standards and could lead to increased dairy exports.

In an Australian first, the White Tide project has received import approval for raw milk into
one of the country’s major Asian trading partners.

The project is expected to increase dairy farmer profits, create jobs and benefit rural communities boosting raw milk sales.

Ms Thomas said it was an exciting development.

“Victorian dairy farmers have faced many challenges over the years with drought, bushfires and the pandemic – this initiative and game-changing technology will help to make dairy farming more profitable and support local jobs,” she said.

Victorian dairy farmers will be able to tap into a range of opportunities by having access to
international markets.

Victoria accounts for nearly 70 per cent of the $13 billion Australian dairy industry, with northern Victoria producing one-third of the state’s total six billion litres of milk.

The White Tide Project is a partnership between Greater Shepparton Council, AgriGate Australia, and other local and international partners.

The Stronger Regional Communities Program is part of the government’s flagship Regional Jobs and Infrastructure Fund, which helps businesses create jobs in regional Victoria, supports community projects and backs councils to build the infrastructure that locals and visitors need.