Power imbalances in dairy industry recognised

The ACCC’s Dairy Inquiry- Interim Report has recognised the significant power imbalances within the industry and the damaging impact that this is having on dairy farmers. 

NSW Farmers’ Dairy Committee chair Erika Chesworth said that the Interim Report demonstrates the weak bargaining power of farmers and negative practices that occur as a result.  

“The ACCC’s key findings certainly vindicate our long held concerns with the imbalance of power that exist within the industry.”

“We look forward to driving change nationally with Australian Dairy Farmers, ensuring that steps are taken to rebalance power across the supply chain, to ensure the longer term sustainability of the NSW dairy industry”. 

The Interim Report made 8 recommendations, including strengthening the current voluntary Code and implementing a mandatory code of conduct. 

“NSW Farmers Dairy Committee’s position has always been that the voluntary code was the first step to start rebalancing power between farmers and processors.”

“The ACCC has identified additional areas of improvement, recommending a mandatory dairy industry Code of Practice and also potential reforms to the current code. These recommendations will be examined through an ADF review process and we participate to represent the interests of NSW dairy farmers.”

The ACCC report also examined the impact of $1 per litre milk concluding that farmers earn the same regardless of whether milk is sold as a private or branded product.

“We are disappointed that the detrimental impact of $1 per litre milk on the sustainability of the industry was not recognised. These products have reduced the value within the supply chain and the level is not sustainable in the long term.” 

“Since the introduction of $1 per litre milk on Australia Day 2011, we along with the national dairy industry, have lobbied for milk to retail for a fair price and a return to sustainable levels”.

“For the sustainability of the industry we must ensure a fair price and return for everyone along the dairy supply chain”. 

The ACCC is seeking submission on the Interim Report with response due on 31 January 2018. 

Date: 4 December 2017

Media Contacts:   Michael Burt | 0428 288 988