While we should always be grateful for small mercies, the Victorian Farmers’ Fund milk deal between supermarket retailer Coles, processor Murray Goulburn and a “reluctant” peak state farmers’ body is a worry.
The Victorian Farmers Federation and Coles have signed off on a venture to sell Farmers’ Fund branded milk supplied by Murray Goulburn designed to generate a “guaranteed 40 cents from every two litre bottle” to go to a special fund.
South Coast dairy farmers have welcomed the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) nation wide investigation into the dairy industry.
“Australian Competition and Consumer Commission review announced on Thursday by Barnaby Joyce as a potentially great platform from which to build our future,” Dairy Connect CEO Shaughn Morgan said.
A British code of conduct model could be the basis for much more productive Australian dairy industry.
The NSW-based Dairy Connect wants a model code, similar to what now exists in the horticulture and grocery sectors, to be discussed at this week’s industry-wide symposium in Melbourne, hosted by Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce.
Dairy farmer lobby groups want the contracts they sign with milk processors changed so the cuts the industry has experienced never happen again.
The president of Dairy Connect Farmers' Group, Graham Forbes, said dairy farmers needed to be better protected.
"The big issue the industry has got are these supply agreements and certainly it was the claw back provisions in Victoria that have backfired on farmers at the moment and haven't given a true price indication," he said.
As the dairy industry faces a likely income squeeze for the next three years farmers are being urged not to lose sight of livestock welfare priorities while they battle to stay profitable.
Continuing regulatory and media scrutiny of animal welfare practices across Australia and in export markets provide sobering reasons for individual action by livestock producers, says industry body Dairy Connect.
An incoming federal Labor government would pursue pricing reform in Australia’s dairy industry, the opposition agriculture spokesman Joel Fitzgibbon told a Dairy Connect delegation in his Hunter electorate on Tuesday.
The delegation was in Cessnock to give the shadow minister a 2016 overview of challenges and opportunities in the dairy industry nationally.
Former NSW Farmers chief executive officer, Shaughn Morgan, will take over as chief executive of the state's dairy industry lobby group Dairy Connect.
Chairman, George Davey, confirmed Mr Morgan's appointment saying it was an important step in taking the farmer, processor and milk product distribution sector organisation into its next development phase.
A lawyer by profession, Mr Morgan has had some recent involvement with the dairy organisation which coincided with inaugural chief, Mike Logan, announcing late last year he was planning his departure.
AN agreement to develop renewable energy solutions for dairy farmers was signed on the dotted line by peak dairy industry body Dairy Connect and AGL last Friday, March 4.
The co-operation agreement, signed at Upper Lansdowne by AGL's CEO Andy Vesey and Dairy Connect's CEO Mike Logan, is designed to cut costs and improve environmental sustainability for the dairy industry.
Farmers say they're unhappy lower international prices are being used as an "excuse" for lower domestic milk contracts.
"The price that we have been offered is lower [than last year]," said Tim Cochrane, from the advocacy group Dairy Connect.
"Parmalat's indicating it's because the world price has come down, but we are supplying drinking milk not an export commodity to the world market."
The lack of upward movement in farmgate milk prices for southern Queensland and northern NSW dairies, despite an ever-increasing shortfall in production, has left frustrated producers pinning their hopes on foreign investment.
Dairy Connect’s North Coast farmer representative Paul Weir said it seemed many farmer groups were walking away from the “$1/litre supermarket disgrace because they just can’t get anywhere”.
Australian dairy farms can now reach Chinese tables in seven days with the first successful trial shipment of fresh NSW milk to China, via a ollaborative partnership between Dairy Connect, Norco Co-operative Limited (Norco) and Peloris Global Sourcing Pty Ltd (PGS). This new cold chain pipeline has the potential to deliver more than 20 million litres of fresh milk to consumers in China within the first 12 months of operation, opening up enormous opportunities for the Australian dairy industry to grow to meet this new demand.