Policy Priorities

UDV outline specific policy areas that are identified as being of particular significance and regularly review this list.

Click here to see the summary of the current UDV Policy Priorities

policy work

LPA Changes

Australian Dairy Farmers has been working to make sure the strong quality assurance measure that dairy farmers meet are recognised by the meat industry in their Livestock Production Assurance program.

At the moment these changes can be a little confusing. Don’t worry, you’re not alone. LHBV and UDV have prepared a summary of the changes and links to more information to help you understand what you have to do and when.

Click here for our dairy farmer LPA factsheet


ENERGY

UDV has been actively lobbying for comprehensive upgrades to Victoria’s energy infrastructure. This includes upgrading Single Wire Earth Return (SWER) lines to 3-phase power across the state. 

Part of this work includes a feasibility study funded through the New Energy Jobs Fund. What was found was that farms on a SWER line cannot readily expand herd size beyond the milk storage capabilities of their vats. In other words, a dairy’s ability to expand is constrained by its milk storage capacity and this capacity cannot be increased beyond the energy constraints imposed by SWER lines without intervention. 

UDV are calling on the Victorian Government to upgrade the outdated SWER infrastructure to 3-phase power across the state. The UDV has committed to keep pushing power line upgrades as a priority into 2017. 

Click here to download a copy of the feasibility study final report - New Energy Options for the Victorian Dairy Industry.

Agriculture Victoria are interested to know how you use energy and what it costs you.

To do this they would like to know more about your energy use and the costs to your business via a survey. The survey is anonymous. All details will be treated as confidential and will only be used for the purpose of this survey. Your responses will help inform future programs that will be designed specifically to support Victorian producers.You can access the SURVEY HERE

Industry Inquiries

Since the milk price crisis a number of inquiries have been launched investigating the Australian dairy industry, including one ASIC and one ACCC inquiry into individual milk processors, and two general inquiries into the dairy industry by ACCC and the Australian Senate. UDV has been active in communicating with the respective inquiring bodies to ensure farmers interests are well represented and pertinent issues are properly raised.

On 17th of August the Senate released the report for their inquiry into the dairy industry and made 12 recommendations. The UDV response to these recommendations can be found here.

UDV has made a submission to the ACCC inquiry into the dairy industry which can be read HERE

CODE OF PRACTICE 

UDV members right across the state called for significant reform to the relationship between farmers and processors after last year’s milk price changes. Members overwhelmingly called for changes to existing arrangements. They also requested those changes provide them with improved milk supply terms and conditions that provide fair, transparent and equitable agreements with processors.

UDV has been working with ADF and other industry representatives on a Code of Practice that builds upon the new 2016 Unfair Contract Terms Law for Small Business which allows a number of issues that affect the unfairness seen during the last year to be addressed.

The Code of Practice Addresses 11 key areas of milk supply contracts:

1. Transparency

2. Pricing

3. Pricing Mechanisms

4. Contractual Variations

5. Loyalty Payments

6. Volume and Exclusivity Clauses

7. Contract Duration

8. Termination and Notice to Terminate

9. Termination upon Fundamental Breach

10. Dispute Resolution

11. Review

Whilst adherence to this Code is voluntary, it sets out minimum good practice in terms of dairy contracts.

Click here to view the Code of Practice

milk price structure

As an ongoing issue for the industry, UDV has led the industry discussion on what is a complex issue that is not generally understood well by farmers. Since the UDV started the debate the two biggest milk processors have conducted, or are conducting, milk price structure reviews.

In more recent times the commentary from farmers and consultants is more informed, and as a result, potential solutions to the problem are now being offered.

UDV has recently organised a day long milk review discussion involving 12 key dairy industry consultants to develop a discussion paper for further industry discussions.

BJD Control Program Review

Dairy farmers contribute to the Cattle Compensation fund through levies on sales of cattle. The fund has a range of functions, but one is to fund a program (TCP3) designed to contain Bovine Johne’s in Victoria’s cattle herd

UDV has led the push for a full review of the TCP3 program including the effectiveness of the current program, the need for the program to continue, market access implications and BJD management in the other states to ensure we achieve the best use of farmers levy payments.

View the final report of the BJD management review here .

Young Farmer engagement and development

The UDV ran the 2017 tour of New Zealand in February funded by the Gardiner Dairy Foundation. This provided an opportunity for six of the best industry talents to share a ‘hands-on’ education of a competitors farming structures and systems, develops a peer network and links farm based and farm service based people. 

Click here to become a member and have your say today.

For more information on becoming a member, phone VFF member services on 1300 882 833 or email

members@vff.org.au