Dairy Australia: Elevating environmental practices on dairy farms

  • 2021

  • Social Impact

Designed By:

Collaborating with Dairy Australia, we worked to improve environmental practices in Australian farms. Engaging with farmers and stakeholders, we used behavioural science and qualitative research methods to understand on-farm needs, capabilities, motivators, and opportunities. Together, we developed solutions to engage and support the Dairy Industry in good, on-farm environmental practices.

Image: Stakeholder Map and Engagement
Image: Farmer Personas: COM-B Model of Behaviour Change
Image: Farmer Personas: COM-B Model of Behaviour Change
Image: Recommended Programmes of Work
Image: Recommended Programmes of Work
  • MORE
  • In recent years, the Australian Dairy Industry has worked to support dairy farmers on environmental sustainability pathways. Despite creating initiatives for farmers - online self-assessment tools, benchmarking initiatives, and extension activities - Dairy Australia (DA) saw a lack of widespread adoption/enthusiasm towards environmental practices. After joining DA to redesign and develop their tools, we discovered the root issue: existing tools and resources could better align with the capabilities, interests, and learning styles of farmers. Without farmer participation, positive change was impossible. DA needed to support their farmers - understanding their capabilities, opportunities, motivations and on-farm practices, and supporting their sustainability story.

  • To support dairy farmers, we blended user-centred design and a model of behaviour change. Analysing existing environmental practices, farm management tools and data collection systems, we performed qualitative/quantitative assessments of farmers' needs, opportunities and motivators. From categorising common challenges, we made recommendations on the types of tools (new and existing) farmers would find valuable - and the methods by which they want to be engaged. Mapping data/insights, we reviewed project deliverables and outcomes in weekly sessions with the Core Design Team. Finally, we developed programs that supported farmers' needs, redesigning existing tools or offering new programs and extension activities.

  • Boosted with 3 bespoke programs, farmers can engage meaningfully with Dairy Australia and strengthen their on-farm environmental practices - accessing and understanding the tools they need to support their own journey towards more sustainable operations. Linking certain on-farm environmental practices to key business considerations (e.g. labour shortages, resource scarcity), we aim to encourage adoption of our resources amongst farmer cohorts. Offering Dairy Australia advice and roadmaps for implementation, we prioritised programs based on 'Blue Sky' impact and a focus on farmer needs. Our design exists to support the farmers with their practices and impact their business model.

  • To encourage growth and future development, we developed a research protocol to engage with stakeholders - what to ask and who to ask. This was based on quantitative evidence on what farmers would engage with. In this case, it was important to ensure weight was embedded in qualitative recommendations and that the farmers' voices were heard.