Dairy Australia has appointed Ian Halliday as its managing director.

Taking up the role on 1 January, Halliday will succeed Mike Ginnivan.

His experience includes a range of management roles in companies including SPC, White Wings, Kraft Foods and KR Castlemaine.

Most recently Halliday was the CEO of Vesco Foods Pty Ltd.

Dairy Australia chairman Max Roberts said Halliday's background in the food industry means he has a strong understanding of the dairy industry supply chain, the increasing issues facing agriculture and the need for Australian dairy to continue developing sustained competitiveness in the world market.

"Mr Halliday will have responsibility for the strategic direction and leadership of Dairy Australia. He will lead the organisation to deliver programs that add value to all facets of the dairy supply chain," the company announced.

"Another key aspect of Ian's role will be the development of strong relationships between industry, research providers, governments and other bodies - nationally and internationally, for the benefit of Australian dairy farmers."

Roberts said he welcome's Halliday's "vision, energy and business acumen" to help build on the successes of Dairy Australia and lead the organisation to the next level.

He also thanked outgoing managing director Mike Ginnivan.

"Dr Ginnivan has led Dairy Australia for approximately six years and in that time he has overseen tremendous change and development in the Australian dairy industry."