Dairy farmers are essential to ensuring consumers and their influencers make better informed decisions about dairy.
Subtropical dairy farmer Paul Roderick is one of a number of farmers who support Dairy Australia's consumer marketing campaigns targeting socially conscious consumers by opening the doors to their operations.
The fifth-generation dairy farmer earlier this year hosted a group of health professionals and influencers on his 350-cow dairy farm, nearly 150 years since his family first began farming on the property in Queensland's Scenic Rim.
Mr Roderick believes dairy farmers have a key role to play in telling the real story about dairy, as consumers seek greater amounts of information to help validate their opinions.
"I think consumers will continue to receive messages about dairy whether it's from us or from a source that may not be reputable," he said.
"Whether it's animal welfare or dairy products and the way they are produced, a growing number of people want to make decisions based on those things."
After often hosting processor staff, vet students, scholarship recipients, as well as interested friends and family members, Mr Roderick said he quickly saw the rationale for taking health influencers on a tour of his farm and agreed to participate.
"Influencers are seen as trusted sources of information they're conduits for our message because people are concerned about health, especially weight and heart health," Mr Roderick said.
"We need to educate the experts so they are right on the front end of the knowledge that's available, so they can then talk to the people who look to them for guidance."
Having recently attended workshops for the Australian Dairy Plan in his region, Mr Roderick said he believed farmers had reinforced the importance of consumer marketing to illustrate the way dairy farmers cared for the land and their animals.
Believing that all dairy farmers have a lot to be proud of, Mr Roderick said openness and transparency were key to building trust with the public.
"Dairy farmers will always be the greatest advocates for our own industry," Mr Roderick said.
"We need to think about how we can explain all our practices on the farm and be proud of what we do.
"Not everyone has to be a spokesperson but farmers should be able to have a conversation with people who ask them about dairy farming."
To learn more about Dairy Australia's consumer marketing approach, visit dairyaustralia.com.au/marketing.