The industry-led voluntary code of conduct for the dairy industry will not go far enough to protect farmers, according to farmer advocacy group Farmer Power.
The group has renewed its calls for a mandatory code as the UDV continues work on finalising the voluntary code.
Farmer Power vice-president Alex Robertson said unless a mandatory code carries penalties it too will fail to have an impact.
‘‘Unless you make it mandatory (processors) are just going to do what they like,’’ Mr Robertson said.
‘‘It means absolutely nothing, it’s a waste of time.’’
Mr Robertson said despite the current consultations about the code, he did not believe anything was being done to help the industry.
‘‘(The current conversations) just make people look like they’re doing something and they’re not,’’ he said.
‘‘The best they can come up with is a make-believe system; (farmers) can’t keep taking this risk all the time.’’
UDV president Adam Jenkins said a voluntary code provided greater assurance that dairy processors would sign up.
‘‘Contrary to some people’s views, a mandatory code doesn’t mean it is mandatory to sign up to the code,’’ Mr Jenkins said.
‘‘There is no capacity to force a dairy company to sign on to a mandatory code.
‘‘But when the code is voluntary to sign on to there is a significantly greater chance of having all dairy companies following the terms and conditions.’’