August, 2018|Vibrant Communities

Scholarships deepen Japan dairy trade relations

“If you ask senior managers at Japan’s major dairy and trading companies what they think of the Dairy Australia Japan Scholarships and you’ll hear that it’s imperative for their next generation of decision makers.”

Dairy Australia International Trade Development Manager, Peter Myers

Since 1998 the Dairy Australia Japan Scholarship program has provided hundreds of staff from major Japanese dairy manufacturers and trading companies with behind-the-scenes access to the Australian dairy industry, from farm to finished product.


Japan is an incredibly important export market for Australian dairy. In 2015-16 Japan accounted for 18 per cent of the nation’s total dairy export value – worth almost USD$335 million). Japan bought about 102 000 tonnes of Australian dairy products in 2015-16. To hold and grow this, Australia continues to invest in its trade-based relationships with Japan, particularly to promote its unique capability to deliver clean, green, safe dairy products.


Dairy Australia’s Japan Scholarship program began in 1998. Many who participated as young, emerging business leaders are now senior decision makers and buyers trading with Australian exporters. Understanding Australia’s dairy industry builds confidence, sets high expectations and creates long-lasting, high-value commercial relationships.


Dairy Australia Chairman Geoff Akers hosted a group of 21 Japan Scholarship participants on his northern Victoria farm in 2015. He stressed the importance of relationships in Asian markets, and a tradition of young staff being groomed and provided career-long pathways in their organisations.

The Dairy Australia Scholarship alumni in Japan, China and now in South East Asia -– is more than 650-strong. These networks spread knowledge and understanding of Australia’s dairy industry in their markets and make a significant contribution to Australia’s export success.

Major dairy exporters, including Bega Cheese, Bulla, Burra Foods, Murray Goulburn, Warrnambool Cheese and Butter, Fonterra, Lion, and Ballantyne support the program – and gain the benefits.