Country News

Dairy code needs harsher penalties and ban on step downs, says industry body

By Alana Christensen

Retrospective milk price step downs should be banned and contract disputes between farmers and processors handled through a thorough complaints and mediation process, according to Australia’s peak dairy lobby.

Australian Dairy Industry Council (ADIC) is calling for processors to give at least 30 days notice of any forward step down, including a reason for the adjustment and for processors to offer farmers a standard contract with an opening price by June 1 each year.

“A new code of practice is an important step for the dairy industry that will clarify and strengthen relationships between farmers and processors across all states of Australia,” ADIC chair Terry Richardson said.

A public consultation will be held on Tuesday, November 27 from 10.30am at the Shepparton Swans Football Club to hear feedback on what the mandatory code should include.

Farmers and processors are encouraged to provide feedback on the code, either by attending regional meetings or by calling 1300 044 940, emailing dairycode@agriculture.gov.au or visiting the website https://haveyoursay.agriculture.gov.au/dairy-code-conduct for further information.

See more in next week's Country News.