UDV membership dropping

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UDV president Paul Mumford.

The body representing Victorian dairy farmers is struggling with declining membership despite the industry enjoying the best returns in years.

The United Dairyfarmers of Victoria met in Melbourne on April 29, and heard that membership had fallen to about 1000.

The organisation operated at a deficit of $191,000 last year on a total turnover of about $1.5 million, and has an accumulated deficit of $365,000.

Principal costs were direct support expenditure $734,000; peak council fees $343,000; and staff costs $268,000.

The UDV said it was planning to adopt new membership strategies from its parent body, the Victorian Farmers Federation, this year.

The VFF conducted a survey of both members and non-members last year, about future membership structures and fees.

The report presented to the annual meeting said it was very clear the VFF must better communicate the value of its achievements to Victorian farmers.

“It has commenced doing so by reviewing its communication channels and messaging,” the annual report said.

UDV president Paul Mumford said the industry was entering a time of change.

“The UDV will continue to do what we do — make the Victorian dairy industry a better place,” he said.

“What form that takes, what it is called, how much it costs — those things might change.

“But an organisation with such a rich history and strong backing from its farmer members will continue in one form or another.

“A state-based advocacy body for the Victorian dairy industry is important.”