Media Release

Ensuring dairy farmers’ voices are heard in ACCC inquiry

25 January 2017

  • ACCC conducting a series of forums in dairy regions across Queensland, New South Wales, Tasmania, Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia.
  • The forums are a vital component of its inquiry into national dairy industry.
  • Dairy farmers can raise directly with the ACCC Commissioners the competition and fair trading issues that they face.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) is holding a series of forums in dairy regions across the country, as part of its inquiry into the national dairy industry, initiated by the Coalition Government.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Barnaby Joyce, today welcomed the forums and encouraged dairy farmers to take this opportunity and attend and provide direct input.

“This is a chance for dairy farmers to raise their competition and fair trading issues directly with an ACCC Commissioner,” Minister Joyce said.

“We need farmers’ participation to get to the heart of the inquiry and to help uncover inefficiencies and inequities that our farmers face to identify a way forward.

“The inquiry began in November and is in-depth and independent, involving broad consultation across all levels of the industry and across the supply chain.

“It is examining competition between processors, contracting practices, market transparency and the retail pricing of dairy products.

“Our dairy farmers deserve fair returns at the farmgate, as well as transparency in milk price arrangements and supply contracts.

“The Coalition remains committed to ensuring the long-term viability of the dairy industry and supporting our dairy farmers in tough times.

“We stood by farmers affected by the decisions of Murray Goulburn and Fonterra to retrospectively reduce farm gate milk prices, with all commitments under the Dairy Support Package either underway or delivered.

“All farmers are strongly encouraged to have their say and attend the forums.”

The forums will be held at:

  • Toowoomba, Queensland, on Monday 6 February 2017
  • Taree, New South Wales, on Tuesday 7 February 2017
  • Traralgon, Victoria, on Tuesday 14 February 2017
  • Warrnambool, Victoria, on Monday 27 February 2017
  • Shepparton, Victoria, on Tuesday 28 February 2017
  • Bunbury, Western Australia, on Thursday 16 March 2017
  • Hahndorf, South Australia, on Monday 20 March 2017
  • Burnie, Tasmania, on Wednesday 22 March 2017

Further details on the venues and times for the regional forums will be published on the ACCC’s website: www.accc.gov.au

Fast facts

  • Dairy is one of Australia’s most important rural industries, producing about 9.6 billion litres of milk annually and directly employing approximately 39,000 people.
  • The ACCC is undertaking the dairy inquiry under Part VIIA of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 providing the Commission with powers to obtain information from companies.
  • The ACCC’s Agriculture Unit—established through an $11.4 million commitment by the government in the Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper—is leading the dairy inquiry.
  • The ACCC will deliver a final report to government in the second half of 2017.