ACCC forums will provide a voice for dairy farmers

Wednesday 25 January 2017

DAIRY farmers are being urged to tell their stories of last year’s milk crisis at a series of forums being run next month by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.

The United Dairyfarmers of Victoria welcomed the competition watchdog for reaching out to farmers as part of an inquiry into pricing and competitiveness across the dairy supply chain after a dramatic
step-down in milk prices last April.

“This inquiry is an important step on the path to reforming the dairy industry so that we can make sure we don’t ever see a repeat of last year’s milk crisis,” UDV President Adam Jenkins said.

“It’s important to understand that these forums are separate to the inquiry being held into the conduct of milk processors and while it’s disappointing we haven’t had an outcome from that investigation, this is still a good opportunity for farmers to speak their minds about the milk crisis.”

The Commission previously declared in a statement that its investigation into the dairy sector would include:

  • competition between milk processors;
  • contracting practices;
  • the availability of price and other market information;
  • the effect of private label products, including pricing, on the industry;
  • ·options for supply into global markets; and
  • the key factors influencing the profitability of dairy farms.

Mr Jenkins said the UDV would contribute to the inquiry and urged others in the dairy industry to work together to solve issues currently affecting the sector.

“It’s vital that we uncover all the inefficiencies and inequities our dairy farmers face, and we agree an in-depth and independent inquiry will achieve a thorough and fair result,” he said

The forums are being run to help the ACCC with its report into the dairy sector, which is due to be handed down in November, while a separate Senate inquiry is also being waged into contractual fairness across the dairy supply chain.

Farmers can front up to meet with the Commission at the following locations across Victoria next month:

Tuesday 14 February 2017– Traralgon

Monday 27 February 2017 – Warrnambool

Tuesday 28 February 2017 – Shepparton

Media Contacts:

Adam Jenkins, UDV President: 0437 008 806

Ashley Mackinnon, VFF Public Affairs Officer: 0417 165 784