Ombudsman’s office ready to assist with Dairy Code disputes

The Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman (ASBFEO) Kate Carnell is encouraging dairy farmers in dispute to contact her office, following the release of an ACCC report reflecting on compliance with the Dairy Code of Conduct.

The ACCC’s Dairy Code: initial observations on compliance report identifies areas of concern including processors’ failure to publish standard form milk supply agreements on time, as well as failing to report on the number and nature of disputes.

Ms Carnell says the issues raised by the regulator, highlight the need for dairy industry participants to understand their rights and obligations under the Code.

She reiterated that her office is ready to provide assistance with disputes that arise under the Code.

“The mandatory Dairy Code of Conduct gives Australian dairy farmers a framework to negotiate a fair price for their product,” Ms Carnell says.

“The code applies to all milk supply agreements entered into, or amended, on or after 1 January 2020.

“My office can provide small and family business owners in the dairy industry with information on the Code, as well as options to resolve disputes and access to mediation and arbitration services.

“The Dairy Code of Conduct provides dairy farmers and other industry participants with avenues for dispute resolution within a fairer framework.”

“In addition to the Dairy Code, my office can provide broader assistance to small and family businesses that also include disputes under the Franchising, Horticulture and Oil Codes of Conduct.”

More information is available about ASBFEO’s dispute resolution services at

Or call direct on tel: 1300 650 460, or email:

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