Deputy Leader of the Nationals and Minister for Agriculture, Bridget McKenzie
Federal Member for Nicholls, Damian Drum
The ACCC will establish a Dairy Consultative Committee to support the Liberal and Nationals Government’s ongoing commitment to the Australian dairy industry.
Minister for Agriculture, Senator Bridget McKenzie, said the committee would be led by an independent chairperson with a strong knowledge of the dairy industry.
“The establishment of the dairy consultative committee is part of an $8.1 million injection into the ACCC Agriculture Unit to continue its valuable work for the dairy and agriculture sector,” Minister McKenzie said.
“Our dairy farmers are doing it tough. They are honest, hardworking people who deserve a fair go. We are committed to supporting a fairer and sustainable Australian dairy industry and the great people who work within it.
“The committee and its chair will ensure there is a strong voice for the dairy industry during the implementation of the mandatory code of conduct and once it is in operation. This will inform the ACCC’s enforcement of the mandatory code of conduct and other activities to bring about industry compliance and awareness.
“Work is continuing on drafting regulations for the mandatory code of conduct, in the form of an exposure draft. Following this, a third round of consultation with industry will begin to gather feedback on the exposure draft and provide the ACCC with up to date and relevant advice.
“The ACCC will seek nominations from a range of backgrounds and industries within the sector including peak bodies, industry associations, and industry advisors to form the committee.
Today’s announcement fulfils an election commitment made by the Liberal and Nationals Government.
The ACCC has also established a Dairy Specialist role in its Agriculture Unit to provide additional expertise and to raise industry awareness about the mandatory code of conduct.
“The Liberal and Nationals Government is a strong backer of our dairy industry and will further strengthen the ACCC’s focus on the sector through the committee and the existing experience of the ACCC Deputy Chair Mick Keogh and the ACCC Dairy Specialist role.
“Aussie dairy farmers deserve a fair price. The Liberal and Nationals Government supports farming businesses and we want to ensure farmers are getting on with their jobs in a fair environment.
“This is a great industry with great people and a positive future ahead.”
Industry members can contact the ACCC via AgricultureUnit@accc.gov.au to raise issues concerning the dairy industry.
In 2019 the government announced it would introduce a mandatory code of conduct to govern relationships between dairy farmers and processors, and committed funding for its implementation.
There have been two rounds of consultation on a mandatory code of conduct, including 18 face-to-face meetings across the dairy regions.
A third round of industry consultation on the draft mandatory code of conduct will be held in the fourth quarter of this year.
The newly created Dairy Consultative Committee will support the ACCC to understand the issues facing the dairy industry as well as raise awareness of the mandatory code of conduct within industry.
The introduction of the Dairy Specialist role within the ACCC fulfils an election commitment.