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Address at Closing ceremony at Eighteenth International Dairy Congress, Sydney

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SYDNEY 1 970





The theme of this

Congress has stressed the role of the

world dairy industry in the problems of human under-nutrition, and the feeding of the human race.

The range of papers presented and of topics discussed illustrates once again the tremendous variety both of problems

and opportunities that exists in the dairy industry throughout

the world. Probably the greatest opportunity lies in the encouragement of the consumption of milk as milk.

In the advanced countries there is still considerable scope for expansion in milk consumption, particularly to provide additional protection to nutritionally-vulnerable groups.

In the developing parts of the world, despite

encouraging signs of progress in the establishment of dairying, it is as yet necessary, either because of transport or economic considerations, to rely largely on some form of reconstitution of the product.

The Congress also has brought out what I consider to be

a matter vital to the well-being of dairy farmers and consumers throughout the world. Dairy farmers themselves, dairy industry

organisations and Governments in both producing and consuming countries should recognise that it is a `,rorld dairy industry -not a collection of disparate industries in different countries.

I believe we have to consciously seek after this conception of the dairy industry as an international entity.

We must see our problems, our responsibilities and our opportunities

from a vantage point high enough to let us comprehend them in the

widest sense.

In today's world - which seems to become smaller every day -domestic policies can have far-reaching international effects.

I think it would not be incorrect to say, for example, that the

policies of some industrialised countries, particularly in Europe,

have repercussions on the efforts of other countries to develop

or sustain their own dairy industries, or to dispose of their dairy product. There will always be conflict in policy.


But this Congress has once again demonstrated the need for efforts to bring about domestic- and world policies which are

integrated as much as possible.

Such efforts would be a real contribution to helping the dairy industry achieve a framework within which it could make the fullest response to its production and marketing opportunities, and to its r.espAns i3!i thLes o

As those of us with developed dairy industries try to

help other countries establish their own industries - 'as we must -we need to be careful to avoid disruptive policies,. such as the dumping of surplus products. Such policies have several effects.

They damage markets which dairy exporting countries have established, and on which the economic survival of their own dairy industries may depend. They undermine the capacity of established dairying countries to provide assistance to the

developing nations and their developing industries, by weakening

the already established dairy industries of the countries wishing to offer help.

More importantly, these policies attack the very foundations of the incipient industries that are struggling to get on their feet.

It. is no service to a country trying to establish its own

dairy industry to dump our unwanted surpluses on its doorstep.

Partly because of the lack of international understandings, the world market for dairy produce has been depressed for too long a time. Heavy stocks accumulated and returns to producers have been poor.

Some reduction in stocks has taken place, but to a large

extent this can be attributed to the unfavourable seasonal

conditions in Europe, aided to. some extent by reconstruction

measures. It would be a matter for conjecture as to what reduction, if any, might have taken place had the season been normal in that part of the world.


But I think we can be pleased by the encouraging signs of

growing international co—operation.

An important achievement has been the success of the

GATT Working Party on Dairy Produce in bringing about an international arrangement for the marketing of skim milk powder.

The working party is now examining the possibilities of

improved international arrangements for marketing butter and

butter oil.

Again, programs such as the intensive cattle development scheme and Operation Flood in India also are now bearing fruit as part of the initiative by FAO in fostering an international dairy development scheme. Its purpose is to encourage arrangements

within which greater efforts can be made to speed up the development of local dairy industries in developing countries, where feasible, and to raise consumption of milk and milk produce.

Such objectives are strongly in line with the basic theme of this Congress. The Congress has provided an opportunity to

review the value placed on milk constituents.

The protein fraction is by far the most valuable

nutritionally, although financially butterfat maintains the industry. Production of protein and fat are, of course, linked

together. To some extent it is possible to influence the relation-ship between these two components, but the extent is limited.

So there is a problem: an increase in the production of milk, and hence of protein, raises at the same time a greater need

to find alternative uses and outlets for the extra fat produced.

For both technical and economic reasons, therefor€,the dairy

industry must seek to increase its pace of change.

It must deliberately court the adjustment of traditional

patterns of farming and of processing, even though adjustment is an uncomfortable, difficult and often expensive business.


This process of change will entail continued emphasis on

dairy research, dairy extension, dairy technology and dairy

marketing. In this connection-I would like to say a word about

the dairy farmers of Australia. They have shown themselves prepared to face up to the wider issues affecting dairying.

They have agreed voluntarily to exercise production

restraints. They have continued their- contributions to research.

They have maintained their efforts. to assist in establishing dairy industries in developing countries, especially in Asia.

They have shown themselves willing to make the adjustments required to meet today's difficult conditions.

While I have no doubt that much the same applies to dairymen in other countries, I could not let this opportunity pass

without paying this tribute to the efforts of Australian dairy


I repeat: there is a need for change, and opportunity

for change.

Probably the most outstanding characteristic of milk is

its versatility. New horizons keep opening up for the dairy

industry - things like URT milk, reverse osmosis, powdered butter,

quark, co-precipitants, edible quality casein, and so on. These are some examples of the exciting new horizons for milk and milk


any of these new developments are relevant to the supply

of much-needed protein for the-nutrition of the people in both

developed and developing areas. In addition, the broadening of the

range of milk products adds variety from a consumer point of view.

The likelihood of better returns to the producer thus will

be• enhanced. T say this because, at this closing stage of the Congress, it is necessary to recall the ultimate purpose for

which we gathered her


It is not only to exchange new ideas,to examine new technologies, to concert new policies. All these are essential contributions towards a deeper purpose, which is the 'betterment

of the welfare of dairy farmers and their families throughout

the world.

The proceedings of this Congress have been assisted by

the presence of representatives of a number of regional and world organisations. I have referred already to the work of F.A.O. The United Nations family is represented also ` by observers

on behalf of the United Nations Childrens' Emergency Fund and the•

World Health Organisation. Many other organisations whose

interests are °closely linked with the dairy 'industry also have


Naturally, this includes the International Dairy Federation

itself. This long-established world organisation, with its membership of 29 countries,, has striven over the years to improve

international co-operation in the many and varied aspects of the

world dairy industry.

Other countries, while not members of the Federation, also benefit from the flow of material that is made available from the

international congresses of this Federation. It is on this international level that our greatest hopes lie in achieving the

aims of good nutrition for the peoples of the world.

I am told, and I have no doubt that you will endorse the

fact, that this Congress has been most efficiently organised.

The chairman and vice-chairman are to be congratulated. So also

are the directors of the Congress Committee.

Our thanks go to Mr. Flowers, the secretary-general of the

Congress, and to Mr. Blackwell, the :.secretary, as well as to the

other Congress officers and to the chairman-wand members of the

specialist committees.


Thanks are also due ' to all those who have

contributed so willingly behind the scenes to make this Congress

function smoothly.

Four years ago, when extending the invitation to hold

this Congress in Australia, Iir. Roberts said: "ale trust that we

will be able to make the Congress a major event of happiness and

good fellowship".

I believe that he and his helpers have made good that


One thing I am particularly happy about myself, is that so many visitors will have an opportunity of seeing dairying in different parts of Australia, including my own electorate on the Far North Coast of New South Wales. Some of you will also have

the opportunity to visit New Zealand.

We hope that you will return to your own countries carrying with you the enhanced ideas and friendships that always flow from a successful Congress such as this, and carrying with you also a wider appreciation of the variety of environments and

of the people that comprise the world dairy industry.