​​Media Release

Dairy code out for comment​

15 January 2018​

  • Draft dairy code released for consultation, based on feedback from farmers and processors.
  • A draft Regulation Impact Statement also released for consultation which assesses the impact of the code for farmers and processors.
  • An additional round of dairy code consultations will occur in Victorian dairy regions, along with two national phone-based town hall consultations.​

The draft mandatory dairy code of conduct has been released today for public comment, following a series of consultations in all eight dairy regions last year.

A Regulation Impact Statement has also been released for comment to refine assessment of the cost the code would have on farmers and processors.

Minister for Agriculture David Littleproud said the draft code had been released as part of a second round of consultation to ensure everyone got to have their say.

"A mandatory code will be an industry-defining moment so I want all dairy farmers, processors and stakeholders to stay involved in shaping it," Minister Littleproud said.

"Milk levies come and go but the mandatory code would help balance the market power between dairy farmers and processors and improve farmers' bargaining power.

"Last year my department sought feedback across all dairy regions on what should be included in a code.

"As it stands the code will require processors to publicly release their standard form agreement on a set date each year.

"The code will also establish a dispute resolution process, preventing unilateral changes to agreements, and outlawing retrospective step downs.

"The dairy industry called for a code and we're getting on with delivering it with as much consultation as possible.

"This round of consultation includes three face-to-face meetings in Victoria and two phone-based town hall sessions where people from across the country can dial in."

More information about the code and consultations can be found on the Have Your Say website at https://haveyoursay.agriculture.gov.au/dairy-code-conduct. People can also email dairycode@agriculture.gov.au or phone 1300 044 940.

Fast facts

  • Australia's dairy industry was worth almost $4.3 billion in 2017–18
  • Code would cover around 87 dairy processors and approx 5,800 dairy farmers
  • A mandatory dairy code was a key recommendation of the ACCC's Dairy Inquiry
  • While a mandatory code is developed, the voluntary code will remain in place

Details of consultations:

  • 29 January 2019 – Warragul Country Club, 10:30am – 1:30pm
  • 31January 2019 – Mercure Port of Echuca, 11:00am – 2:00pm
  • 1 February 2019 – Warrnambool Golf Club, 11:00am – 2:00pm
  • These are public consultations – no registration required.
  • Telephone town halls will be held on 6 February at 2:00 pm (AEDT) and 7 February 10:00 am (AEDT).