Mandating grocery code is a win for dairy farmers

Australian Dairy Farmers president Ben Bennett.

Australia’s peak dairy farmer representative body says making the Food and Grocery Code mandatory will benefit dairy farmers and create a level playing field for all suppliers.

The Federal Government has committed to implementing all 11 recommendations contained in the independent review of the Food and Grocery Code of Conduct led by Craig Emerson.

Australian Dairy Farmers has welcomed the move to strengthen the code, which vindicates its review submission calling for the FGC to be mandated.

“A mandatory code promises significant benefits for dairy farmers by ensuring fairer trading practices and enhancing protections within grocery supply chains,” ADF president Ben Bennett said.

“This shift from a voluntary to a mandatory code ensures that all major supermarkets must adhere to the code, creating a level playing field for all suppliers.”

The Dairy Code of Conduct remains in place as an independent code and continues to regulate conduct between dairy farmers and processors.

Mr Bennett said while the industry welcomed changes to the Food and Grocery Code, it was important that the Dairy Code prevails as the standalone code regulating processers and dairy farmers.

“Additionally, it is crucial that the government gets the interaction between the strengthened Food and Grocery Code of Conduct and the existing Mandatory Dairy Code of Conduct right,” he said.

“These protections will help dairy farmers report unfair practices without fear of retribution, promoting a more transparent and equitable market environment.

“The combined effect of these codes will help enhance market transparency, ensuring dairy farmers receive fair treatment and fostering trust between suppliers, wholesalers and retailers.

“We look forward to working with the government and supermarkets to implement these changes effectively and continue to advocate for the best interests of our farmers.”