Pushing for political support for policies

Healthy move: Residents in aged care facilities would benefit from better nutrition and dairy could be part of the change. Photo by Jeanette Severs

An election platform which seeks political party support for policies driving nutritional health, regional jobs and on-farm sustainability and productivity has been launched by Australian Dairy Farmers.

The ADF 2022 Federal Election Policy Statement will steer ADF’s advocacy throughout the election. It includes three guiding objectives:

• Improve nutritional health in Australia and abroad;

• Grow jobs and liveability in the regions with planning and investment; and

• Increase sustainability and productivity through innovation and markets.

Under these three objectives there are 14 strategies and 38 actions for political parties to adopt as part of their election policies.

ADF president Rick Gladigau said the upcoming election provided a great opportunity for the Australian dairy industry.

“We need policy settings that support our industry’s economic recovery,” Mr Gladigau said.

“The dairy sector can play a key role in supporting the Australian Government’s COVID-19 recovery and regionalisation agendas, and its pledge to set the foundations for the agriculture sector to grow to $100 billion by 2030.

“The federal election provides a defining moment in the Australian dairy industry’s ability to achieve our sustainability targets.”

ADF chief executive officer David Inall said the focus for ADF early in the new year would be to meet with key representatives of all major political parties and brief them on this election policy platform.

The Australian Dietary Guidelines recommend consumption of milk, cheese and yoghurt across all life stages.

For adults aged 19 to 50 years, at least 2.5 serves a day of milk, cheese, yoghurt and/or alternatives are recommended.

“Unfortunately, most Australians do not consume anywhere near the required amount,” the ADF statement says.

The statement notes a recent survey by University of Melbourne which explored how the food served at aged care facilities impacts the health of residents.

“It specifically investigated how increasing intake of milk, cheese and yoghurt impacted on a variety of health outcomes including fractures and falls.’’

This world-first randomised controlled trial found that increasing dairy intake from two to 3.5 serves per day improved calcium and protein intakes and significantly reduced the risk of falls, all fractures and hip fractures.

The ADF is calling on the Australian Government to develop national mandatory minimal nutritional standards for food provision in residential aged care.

Next week: ADF’s seven-point plan to address labour shortages.