‘Let’s get it right.’ Dairy Connect’s view on ACCC milk inquiry extension

“Let’s do it once. Do it well and get the outcomes right for the sake of all.”

That was the clear message today from Dairy connect CEO Shaughn Morgan on news that the reporting date for the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission dairy inquiry has been extended out to April 30 next year.

The Federal Treasurer Scott Morrison asked the ACCC to hold an inquiry into dairy 12 months ago. The review began formally on November 1 last year.

The final report is now due on April 30.

The ACCC inquiry is focusing on competitiveness, prices, trading practices and the culture and effect of supply chain relationships.

The extension was announced by Scott Morrison who said it would provide the ACCC with sufficient time to consult with industry on an ‘interim report’ due in late November this year.

Shaughn Morgan said it was important that the inquiry was given the time it needed to craft reforms and recommendations that would help positively reshape the industry up and down the value chain.

“While we are all chaffing at the bit to embrace reform, we need to think long-term and give the Commission space to consider its options and craft a meaningful set of recommendations designed to set the industry up for the future,” he said.

“There was disquiet in the industry that the Senate Economics Committee dairy industry review report in mid-August lacked teeth and palmed meaningful reforms off to the ACCC. However, the referral of a number of matters to the ACCC by the Senate Committee was a vital and pivotal opportunity to ensure meaningful change.

“The ACCC is our ultimate chance.

In a letter to stakeholders today, the ACCC said it had sought the extension to allow it to consult with the industry through an interim report.

“This report will contain interim findings and recommendations based on our analysis of issues such as competition between milk processors, contracts between processors and farmers and the impact of domestic retail prices on the industry,” it said.

“The interim report will be released by 30 November 2017. The final report is now due to the Treasurer by 30 April 2018.”

Dairy Connect is looking forward to putting forward views for the betterment of the dairy industry as a whole.