Public submission period for ‘critical’ review of dairy code extended two weeks

Countryman
Dairy cows.
Camera IconDairy cows. Credit: Danella Bevis/Countryman, Danella Bevis

Farmers, processors and industry groups are being given an extension to have their say in a sweeping review of the historic national Dairy Code of Conduct.

Originally set to close on August 15, the public submission period has been extended a further two weeks as the industry grapples with the impacts of COVID-19 lockdowns across the eastern states.

Federal Agriculture Minister David Littleproud said the two-week extension was based on feedback and would allow more input from those in the industry.

“Extending the submission period will allow greater opportunity for everyone to have their say despite impacts of COVID shutdowns,” he said.

It is part of the first formal review process of the mandatory code, which was introduced in January last year after years of lobbying from dairy farmers to be given more bargaining power in contract negotiations.

Earlier this year, Brownes was fined $22,000 after the processor published two supply agreements on its website in June last year, which did not comply with the code.

Power imbalances in farmer-processor relationships, market transparency, and the code’s role in milk supply agreements will all come under the microscope in this sweeping review.

“The review will play a critical role in assessing whether the code is operating as intended and delivering the outcomes the dairy industry needs,” Mr Littleproud said.

“It’s about keeping families on the farm while creating a stronger business environment with better regulation, healthier market competition, and more competitive supply chains.”

The public submission period will be open until August 29 at haveyoursay.awe.gov.au/dairy-code-of-conduct-review.

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