Dairy symposium – a great start on a ‘more mutual’ journey

Today’s dairy industry symposium convened by Deputy Prime Minister and Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce was a great start on a journey toward a more cooperative future, according to Dairy Connect.

CEO Shaughn Morgan said the door was open and the light was on for producers, processors and supply chain stakeholders – including supermarkets – to address industry challenges.

“A number of issues were discussed by the participants including the lack of transparency in milk supply agreements as well as the continuing presence of generic milk in supermarket chiller units,” he said.

“Dairy Connect welcomes the new ‘more forensic’ Australian Competition and Consumer Commission review announced by Minister Joyce as a potentially great platform from which to build for a mutual future.”

The federal government has beefed up the competition watchdog’s investigation into the way major dairy processors cut the prices they paid to farmers for milk.

The retrospective cuts have family farmers struggling and the Minister said the aim of a new ACCC investigation was to ensure the situation was not repeated in the future.

Minister Joyce also told the industry gathering that the days of ‘$1 a litre milk’ needed to end.

Chair of the Dairy Connect Farmers’ Group Graham Forbes told a meeting of Australian Dairy Farmers that UK Dairy’s voluntary code of conduct contained a range of relevant pointers for Australia. Dairy Connect will continue to provide information as to the possible benefits of introducing a similar code in Australia.

Ashley Rootsey