Caring Dairying was developed by Hugh in 2005 to help lead change in the NZ Dairy Industry.

Dairy Concepts recognised that the New Zealand dairy industry and economy needed sustainable dairy businesses, but was not well equipped to grow and achieve its potential without significant change.

New Zealand’s large dairy herds make up approximately 9% of the national dairy herd. However, in order to keep up with the global demands from our dairy industry, this must increase dramatically with a predicted doubling of the average herd size within the next five to seven years (Ref: Dairy NZ, 2009).

In 2008 Dairy Concepts with the support of Pfizer Animal Health, funded the Caring Dairying National Survey to identify issues that impacted performance and productivity of large herd dairy farming.

The survey was conducted among 92 large dairy farms nationwide to address the understanding around these issues and deal with them effectively.

Key findings revealed there was both a lack of leadership and people management skills from within the industry. Those surveyed felt a lack of these skills was negatively impacting on large herds, environment and farm business.

Change was needed to improve standards of herd welfare, lower environmental impact and increase profitable businesses, with the ability to define framework with a benchmark and capabilities matrix.

In response, Caring Dairying was established as a collective and a brand synonymous with sustainable dairy farming in New Zealand, its supply base, and in target markets. It provides a frame of reference as to what good looks like, benchmarks good practice and allows for auditing and differentiation of farms following good practice.

To view the Caring Dairying survey lessons and conclusions, click here.