15/1/2019

Have your say on the mandatory dairy code

Member for Wide Bay Llew O’Brien is urging people to have their say on the draft mandatory dairy code of conduct, which has been released for public comment following a series of consultations in all eight dairy regions last year.

 

A Regulation Impact Statement and survey seeking further information on the impacts the code will have on farmers and processors has also been released for public comment and contribution.

 
Mr O’Brien said the draft code had been released to make sure everyone got to have their say, which was a step in the right direction to stabilise the dairy industry.
 
“Dairy is an important industry in Wide Bay, and I encourage all local dairy farmers and processors to provide their views on the draft code to help make it the best code possible,” Mr O’Brien said.
 
“This will be helped by the two phone-based town hall sessions where people from across the country can dial in and share their thoughts.
 
“No farmer or processor is excluded.
 
“Information can be found on consultations and the draft code at www.agriculture.gov.au by going to the Have Your Say section.
 
“The Government needs to use all the tools it has at its disposal to help dairy farmers get a fair price for their product.  The mandatory code is a welcome step in the right direction but more needs to be done to stop the decline of the dairy industry.”
 
Minister for Agriculture David Littleproud said the new code would help balance the market power between dairy farmers and processors and improve farmers’ bargaining power.
 
“The code aims to permanently improve the market power imbalance between dairy farmers and processors,” Minister Littleproud said.
 
“It’s not a silver bullet, but it’s a start. As it stands the code will require processors to publicly release their standard form agreement on a set date each year, which can help stop processors from being tricky when they tell farmers they’ll ‘match or better’ another processor’s offer.
 
“The code will also establish a dispute resolution process, stopping processors changing agreements without farmer consent, and outlaw retrospective step downs.
 
“It also obliges processors to publish early in the season milk price offers so farmers have more time to consider their situation.
 
“The dairy industry called for a code and we’re getting on with delivering it with as much consultation as possible.”
 
More information about a code and consultations can be found on the Have Your Say website at https://haveyoursay.agriculture.gov.au/dairy-code-conduct

People can also email [email protected] or phone 1300 044 940.
 
Fast facts

  • Australia’s dairy industry was worth almost $4.3 billion in 2017–18
  • Code would cover around 87 dairy processors and approx 5,800 dairy farmers
  • A mandatory dairy code was a key recommendation of the ACCC’s Dairy Inquiry
  • While a mandatory code is developed, the voluntary code will remain in place

 
Details of consultations:

  • Telephone town halls will be held on 6 February at 2:00 pm (AEDT) and 7 February 10:00 am (AEDT).
  • A tele-town hall allows many participants to be connected via telephone to join a presentation and discussion.
  • As a tele-town hall participant you will have the opportunity to ask questions about a dairy code. A moderator will select relevant questions that will be addressed by the speaker. If selected, you will be able to ask your question to the speaker directly.
  • Participants must register to take part in a tele-town hall. Each tele-town hall meeting will last approximately two hours. Registration details will be provided at https://haveyoursay.agriculture.gov.au/dairy-code-conduct
  • If you have any questions regarding the registration process, please contact the dairy code team at [email protected]

ENDS