Community resilience and prosperity

Dairy farmers and employees tend to be very active members in their local communities.

Measuring the wellbeing of farmers, communities

The Australian dairy industry enriches regional Australian communities. It directly employs approximately 38,000 Australians on farms and in factories, while more than 100,000 Australians are indirectly employed in related service industries.

Building the resilience and prosperity of dairy farmers directly supports their local community. Manufacturing also adds to community resilience through direct employment and indirect economic flow-on effects.

Dairy farmers and employees tend to be very active members in their local communities and most manufacturers sponsor local activities and clubs. This assists in building social capital within a dairy community, which in turn helps to ensure these communities are prepared for change and are able to address issues as they arise.

Enhancing the resilience and prosperity of dairy communities underpins the dairy industry’s future success. To do this, we are improving our understanding and developing indicators to measure the wellbeing of farmers and their communities.

The idea of wellbeing as a measure of progress is rapidly gaining support worldwide. An increasing number of national and international organisations include indicators of wellbeing in their reporting.

Wellbeing is the outcome of many different influences that interact with each other in complex and dynamic ways to change a person’s overall quality of life, or a community’s livability and resilience.

Farmers are vulnerable to mental and physical health issues, so understanding wellbeing is important at both an individual and industry level.

Sustainable Development Goals

Dairy industries also have a role to play in enhancing livelihoods on a global scale. Nearly one billion people globally earn their livelihood through contact with the dairy sector (Global Dairy Agenda for Action). The dairy sector makes a remarkable impact on improving livelihoods, social equity, community health and wellbeing, as well as reducing social i by contributing to the social fabric of rural communities. The framework’s goal of supporting dairy communities aligns with the UN Sustainable Development Goal #8. Decent Work and Economic Growth:

8.3 Promote development-oriented policies that support productive activities, decent job creation, entrepreneurship, creativity and innovation, and encourage the formalization and growth of micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises, including through access to financial services.