Have your say on the Dairy Industry Code

Interested people have until March 15 to get involved in consultation about the dairy code. Photo by Holly Curtis

The Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry has opened consultation on the operation of the Dairy Industry Code.

The Dairy Industry Code provides a fairer process for negotiating contractual arrangements between dairy farmers and dairy processors.

The consultation process follows DAFF’s review of the Dairy Industry Code in 2021 with the support of the Dairy Industry Code Review Reference Group.

Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Policy Group acting deputy secretary Jared Greenville said that while a second formal review of the code will happen down the track, this consultation puts DAFF in a better position to address the findings of the first review.

“The first code review identified several topics that warranted further exploration before a second review can commence,” Dr Greenville said.

“This consultation is an opportunity to ensure we can capture more evidence about concerns identified in the first review so that the code can adapt to best represent the needs of our dairy industry.

“The code helps balance bargaining power between dairy farmers and dairy processors.

“It’s important that we ensure that the code remains up-to-date and continues to support our dairy industry now and into the future.

“I encourage those with an interest in fair and open dairy industry negotiations to get involved in the consultation.”

EastAUSmilk is concerned this is a narrow consultation, focusing on eight issues of concern raised in the first (2021-22) review of the code by DAFF.

“While many of our member’s concerns can be raised in the context of these eight questions, not all can be,” the farmer group said.

“EastAUSmilk’s submission will need to make clear that consideration of a narrow range of issues, based on feedback in 2021, is not a sufficient review of the code three further years down the track.

“It should be noted that, somehow, DAFF came away from the 2021-22 review claiming everything was generally satisfactory with the code, and seem to have been unaware of the concerns of eastAUSmilk members.

“Certainly, since that time, many other concerns have come to light.”

EastAUSmilk urged individual members are urged to contribute to the consultation.

For more information and to have your say by 5pm on March 15, go to: https://haveyoursay.agriculture.gov.au/industry-comments-on-the-operation-of-the-dairy-industry-code