This press release came into our inbox this morning from the Gardiner Foundation:
20 February 2007
GARDINER FOUNDATION FUNDING TO DOUBLE IN 2007
The Gardiner Foundation will increase funding for projects to benefit the dairy industry and dairying communities from 2007 to double the level of the previous year.
The new funding commitment was announced yesterday by the Foundation Chairman Chris Nixon at a reception at State Parliament to recognise the role played by the Foundation’s partner organisations.
Mr Nixon told the audience of nearly 180 representatives from the dairy industry, community groups and scientific organisations, that the higher funding level reflected a greater need by industry because of the drought.
Mr Nixon said that the Foundation was confident of maintaining the new higher funding for the next five years.
The leaders of 24 new projects which shared Gardiner Foundation funding of $2.7 million were introduced to guests at the reception and congratulated by the Minister for Agriculture, the Hon. Joe Helper MP.
Mr Helper said that he was pleased to see that a number of the new projects were targeting community needs.
“These projects are dealing with real issues that affect people in their daily lives and that is critically important,” the Minister said.
Chris Nixon noted that an unfortunate side effect of the drought and its impact on milk yields was the consequential reduction in the amount of money available for research and development from grower levies.
“As funds get tighter, we have no choice other than to get smarter and to work in closer and more collaborative ways than ever before,” Mr Nixon said.
“I am convinced that we must work closely with all our partners to make sensible decisions on whole-of-supply chain priorities and also to invest in developing a world class capability in the key sciences needed to tackle those priorities,” he added.
Mr Nixon told guests that the Foundation was providing $1 million per annum over five years for the establishment of Dairy Innovation Australia to pull together a number of research and development organisations serving the manufacturing and processing sectors of the industry.
This money is in addition to the $5 million committed to the biotechnology area.
Mr Nixon also said that his Foundation would be investing heavily with industry in a Consortium to develop new science capabilities and discover unique health properties of milk and dairy products.
“The rapidly changing regulatory environment overseas and in Australia means that the Consortium’s work is essential and urgent,” Mr Nixon said.
Closing remarks at the reception were made Foundation director and northern Victorian dairy farmer Max Fehring who brought home to guests the stark reality of drought and its impacts on people in affected areas.
Feb. 21, 2007
Sign up to our weekly e-newsletter for sector news, expert opinion and resources.