The Australian dairy industry mandatory code of conduct exposure draft was released today in what is the third and final round of consultation with the dairy industry.
Minister for Agriculture, Bridget McKenzie, said the code would come into effect in January 2020, months ahead of schedule, thanks to the advocacy of her National Party colleagues.
In March 2019 the Government announced the Code’s broad principles that the regulation addresses. Since then, the Code has been developed into a legal text version.
“This third and final consultation period will be open for four weeks allowing for all stakeholders, from all dairy regions to have their say,” Minister McKenzie said.
“We are keen to make sure that all of industry has an opportunity to provide final comment on the drafted mandatory code because dairy farming is quite a different enterprise in Western Australia compared with Victoria – and that goes for all the states.
“I’m very happy that the mandatory code is progressing and will soon help to improve the contractual arrangements between dairy farmers and dairy processors.
“Of course we’re not going to solve all the issues facing the dairy industry through the Code which is why we have a suite of other measures including grants to set up cooperatives and grants to help dairy farmers upgrade or invest in energy efficient equipment to reduce energy costs.
“Our Government also committed $560,000 to Australian Dairy Farmers to design, develop and market test new milk pricing and trading concepts. My department will seek initial feedback on these concepts while consulting on the code.
“We are delivering the mandatory code as soon as possible in order to provide clearer safeguards for how farmers are treated as members of the supply chain.
“I remind the dairy industry again that they are on notice to make sure that the contracts offered to farmers are appropriate and fair ahead of its formal introduction-the community expects no less.
“The mandatory code is an outcome of the April 2018 Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s report into the dairy sector. Stakeholder consultation is an essential component of the development of this mandatory code and vital to its success.”