THE essential value of a commodity tends not to be realised until there is a crisis which demonstrates the importance of that asset.
A prime example of that scenario unfolded in 2017 when Murray Goulburn announced it was shutting down its milk processing plant at Kiewa which had operated for more than a century.
Employees and consumers were left in shock as they saw jobs go and Kiewa Country milk disappear from shelves (although it has since been revived under a different owner).
The upheaval at the dairy factory (which fortunately remained open thanks to Canadian company Saputo) demonstrated the vitality of such an enterprise to the community.
It showed there are 3133 workers employed in the sector and it generates $251 million annually in wages and salary with the average worker earning $80,115.
There is also $770 million spent on good and services across Indi as part of the production supply chain.
As the council's chief executive Tanya Barden says "it's a critical local industry providing jobs for the community and continued economic growth for the region".
While the council did not link its publication of the statistics to any particular government policies, such as investment or taxation, they represent a beacon for politicians.
It is important they realise the importance of regional areas having sustainable employers and such data sets out their value in concrete terms.
Put it another way, for breakfast you could have Uncle Toby's oats from Wahgunyah, accompanied by Danone yoghurt from Tangambalanga and Beechworth Honey on your toast.
And nearby Ted the cat can enjoy his Whiskas and Chico the dog is able to dine on Pedigree from Mars' pet food factory in Wodonga.