Dairy at Work

Explore our stories

Sustainable Dairying: Workplace Action Plan


The Sustainable Dairying: Workplace Action Plan has been developed by DairyNZ and Federated Farmers to help New Zealand’s dairy industry improve workplace management practices. By taking on a ‘people’ focus the action plan sets out major initiatives, actions and means of providing support to farmers.

DairyNZ chairman John Luxton believes that the competitive edge of our industry is reliant on attracting and retaining talented people.

“If we are to remain competitive as dairy farmers in a global marketplace, we need work environments that use technologies and business practices that motivate and reward people,” says John

“New Zealand dairy farmers have a fundamental duty to their employees and themselves to provide working conditions that are safe and healthy. As careers in dairy farming have changed, so must our practices.”

With dairying in New Zealand accounting for over 40,000 jobs and production totalling three percent of the world’s milk supply, the Workplace Action Plan is a significant step towards future-proofing the dairy industry. The plan sets benchmarks for compliance which are accompanied by aspirational targets.

Federated Farmers dairy section chair Andrew Hoggard says the quality of the work environment a farmer provides is central to attracting and retaining staff.

 “A good work environment does not stop with just doing the minimum,” says Andrew. “We’re encouraging farmers to go from good to great as employers and supporting them with tips, tools and resources to make it easier. All farmers want to attract good staff – and so we’ve set out a clear road map for how to make that happen for them.”

Guidelines for good people management are set according to five core pillars which range from fair pay to effective team culture. Each pillar addresses what constitutes as good workplace management and how employers and employees can work together to achieve it.

In order to aid and support workplace improvements a range of tools and resources are being produced. DairyNZ is currently working on roster builder to help farm managers balance work schedules more effectively.

Downloadable resources for farmers are also available online from DairyNZ's website: www.dairynz.co.nz/people

Did you know?

In New Zealand’s dairy industry there are:

  • 27,830 people employed working on farms (excl. farm business owners)
  • 7,855 farm owner/operators
  • 4,115 sharemilkers
  • 11,970 dairy herds

To find out more about the Sustainable Dairying: Workplace Action Plan, head over to www.dairynz.co.nz/wap

Further Articles