​Media Release

Mandatory code consultation begins​

Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, David Littleproud
Member for Murray, Damian Drum


31 October 2018​​

  • Consultation begins on a mandatory code of conduct for the dairy industry
  • Code to address the imbalance in bargaining power between farmers and processors
  • Consultations to occur across Australian dairy farming regions

​The Coalition Government has started formal consultations on a mandatory code of conduct to help deliver real reform for the dairy industry.

Minister for Agriculture David Littleproud marked the beginning of formal consultations while visiting dairy farmers in Shepparton with the Member for Murray, Damian Drum.

"The dairy industry came to me with a united position – that it wanted a mandatory code of conduct," Minister Littleproud said.

"I'll deliver it. Consultations will occur across Aussie dairy regions and I want all dairy farmers, processors and people interested about the future of dairying in this country to get involved.

"The code will help make negotiations and contract arrangements between farmers and processors fairer and more transparent and include a dispute resolution process. However this alone will not fix the dairy industry or increase farm gate prices—real structural reform is needed."

Member for Murray Damian Drum said this was an important step in supporting local dairy farmers.

"Milk is the most valuable agricultural commodity in the Shepparton region - worth $464 million in 2016–17," Mr Drum said.

"Our farmers have been hit by retrospective price cuts and now drought. A mandatory code will help deliver transparency and support stability in the industry long term."

Dates and locations will be released shortly.  More information about the development of the code can be found on the have your say website. The contact email address is dairycode@agriculture.gov.au and phone number is 1300 044 940.

Fast Facts

  • Dairy is Australia's third largest rural industry, worth almost $3.7 billion in 2016–17.
  • A mandatory dairy code was a key recommendation of the ACCC's Dairy Inquiry.
  • While a mandatory code is being developed, the voluntary code will remain in place.
  • Outcomes of the voluntary levy review will be considered when developing the mandatory code.