World Milk Day recognises Kiwi dairy farmers

1 June 2021

As global World Milk Day (June 1) gets underway, New Zealand dairy farmers continue to play a key role in a post-Covid economy, as a sustainable producer of milk for the world.

DairyNZ chief executive Dr Tim Mackle says our communities and regional economies see real benefits from dairy, particularly with current increased global demand for dairy product.

“We should be really proud of our dairy farmers for sustaining our country’s success through more environmentally efficient products, while supporting our communities and the New Zealand economy,” said Dr Mackle.

“Our analysis has shown this past season’s increase in milk price delivered an additional $2.1 billion within our communities alone. The total increase in revenue for the country therefore sits at around $3.28 billion.

“Our findings have shown these flow-on effects have meant the total economic contribution from dairy was around $42 billion this season.”

Dr Mackle said for every $1 increase in milk price, around another $1.80 flows into other sectors within the economy. Flow-on spending pays wages and injects cash into other sectors, including farm purchases, pharmaceutical products, construction, electricity and voluntary household expenditure.

“Dairy farmers achieve all this while being the most emissions efficient producers globally,” said Dr Mackle. “We are committed to remaining a sustainable producer of dairy product and, to do that, we have a wide range of work underway to enhance the environment, including reducing emissions and improving water quality, while maintaining profitability.”

Farmers nationwide have fenced waterways, 100 percent of stock crossing points have bridges and culverts, while thousands of farmers are carrying out extensive planting alongside waterways.

In 2019 the dairy sector accounted for more than 5 percent of GDP in seven regions – and more than 10 percent in four of those. In dollar terms, this equates to dairy contributing more than $100 million to GDP in most regions – including nearly $2 billion in Canterbury and $2.5 billion in Waikato. The sector delivers nearly $21 billion in export value.

About World Milk Day

World Milk Day was established by the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) in 2001 to celebrate and increase public awareness of the important contributions of the dairy sector to sustainability, economic development, livelihoods, and nutrition. 

This year’s World Milk Day social media campaign focuses on sustainability to showcase dairy’s commitment to innovation in reducing the sector’s environmental footprint.

The three day Enjoy Dairy Rally also focuses on three additional themes in the lead up to World Milk Day: nutrition, community, and enjoyment.

#WorldMilkDay #EnjoyDairy

Media inquiries:

Vanessa Feaver

Senior Media Manager

Phone 027 836 6295

Ali Tocker

Senior Media Specialist

Phone 027 364 7532

Photo usage: If you require high-resolution versions of photos featured in this article, please contact