For various reasons 2016 will be remembered as the year of the “perfect storm”, so to speak. The continuously low milk price with relatively little or no upward movement and the devastating drought, especially in the inland milk-producing areas, with the accompanying pressure on input and profitability, have taken their toll. Unfortunately, a considerable number of producers decided to leave the industry – which we at the MPO find highly concerning.
In spite of everything the MPO has, in my opinion, succeeded in all it has done to keep most of our producers competitive through continued support and services that have truly unlocked value for the producer. There are many possibilities for growth in the industry, but these possibilities can only be exploited with complete involvement on the part of all role players. In 2016 we saw more involvement by members of the MPO than in previous years but in 2017 every producer will have to do even more, in partnership with the MPO, to continue to build up the milk industry. It is important to participate in the MPO’s activities and reach the people who are able to make a real difference, not only at regional level but also on a national basis, and thereby establish a sustainable dairy industry in the short term and – even more important – in the long term.
2017 is just around the corner and although there appears to be a positive change in the milk price the new year will still be a challenging one for the dairy industry. The economic climate is not going to get any easier but my team at the MPO and I are fully confident that, together with the producers, we will be able to overcome the problems by improving the innovative services of the MPO. We intend to achieve this by getting to know our producers even better and involving them to an even greater extent.
The team of MPO members at head office and our directors have put in a lot of effort towards realising our dream of a sustainable dairy environment for both emerging and commercial dairy farmers. Our strategic focus for 2017 will not change a great deal but we shall undoubtedly be placing greater emphasis on creating an economically sustainable environment for all role players, with due regard to the protection of our environment.
In each of our strategic focus points, namely the establishment of profitable and competitive dairy farms, the protection and development of the market, our client-centred focus which includes the transfer of knowledge and skills through our education of the producers and their employees and communication at all levels, especially through The Dairy Mail, everything has gone like clockwork and we can only improve on this in 2017.
Irrespective of the activities my highly competent team is engaged in – the producer is and always will be our priority!
2016 is just about over and we are appealing to all milk producers to work closely with the MPO in 2017. Everyone will be fully involved and you can rest assured that we at the MPO will do our best for you, the milk producer.
Dr Chris van Dijk
MPO Executive Head
Published on Wednesday, 4th January 2017 - 13:15