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Alpine Valleys Dairy Pathways Project
The Alpine Valleys Dairy Pathways Project (AVDPP) evolved from a shared interest in the potential for milk growth in the region. The project was driven by the North East Agribusiness Forum, North East Murray Dairy, Dairy Australia, the Murray Goulburn Co-operative and the four primary rural municipalities in the region (Towong Shire Council, Indigo Shire Council, Alpine Shire Council and the Rural City of Wangaratta).
Significant steps in the development of the project have included:
- A deputation from community residents in the Mitta Valley requesting the dairy industry examine the decline of dairy in the Valley and how this might be arrested given the negative impact of such (March 2010);
- The commissioning of a comparative economic analysis to review the status of dairy in the region and the potential for on-going regional dairy farm profitability (Future dairy supply for the Alpine Valleys, Mulvany 2010);
- An industry level workshop to review the outcomes of the Mulvany Report and to design a response (Lake Hume Workshop, March 2011);
- Formation of the project steering group to seek resources and oversee project activities (June 2011);
- Independent focus group consultations conducted in all of the valleys (Understanding barriers to growth in the dairy industry in North East Victoria, Santhanam-Martin 2011);
- Alpine Valleys Dairy Business Forum - with strong participation by local dairy farmers and other key stakeholders (September 2012);
- Formation of the 'Our Valley, Our Future' project in the Mitta Valley - this was supported by the Gardiner Foundation with a focus on understanding the links between sustainable communities and a sustainable local dairy industry (September 2012); and
- Appointment of a Dairy Extension Officer co-funded by DEPI, Dairy Australia and Murray Goulburn Cooperative (June 2013).