Review of the Dairy Code of Conduct open for public submissions

The Australian Government has started its review process into the Dairy Industry Code of Conduct and will be seeking input from the dairy reference group, dairy farmers, processors, and industry groups from 5 July 2021 to 15 August 2021.

The Dairy Code of Conduct was introduced on 1 January 2020 with the aim to even out market imbalances in the dairy industry.

It was a recommendation of the ACCC’s 2018 inquiry into the dairy industry, which found significant imbalances in bargaining power at each level of the dairy supply chain.

This review is critical to assessing whether it is operating as intended and delivering the outcomes the dairy industry needs, and while initial feedback on the Code has been quite positive the government is open to hearing how it could be improved.

The government further advised it will listen closely to industry’s experiences and hear how the Code’s requirements are being met, the impact on business relationships, and outcomes.

The government say they are committed to ensuring a fairer go for dairy businesses and keeping families on the farm. Therefore creating a stronger business environment, healthier market competition, and more competitive supply chains means fairer prices for farmers.

Information on the review is available on the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment’s website here.

Dairy Industry Code of Conduct

·         The establishment of a mandatory code was a recommendation of the ACCC’s 2018 Dairy Inquiry Final Report.

·         This inquiry found significant imbalances in bargaining power at each level of the dairy supply chain. It undertook extensive consultation with dairy farmers, processors and peak industry bodies.

·         In December 2020, the ACCC published initial observations on the operation of the Code which indicated that it was making a difference to market transparency in the industry.

·         A review of the Code must be undertaken during 2021, with the next review due in 2023.

·         The Code and its requirements can be viewed on the Federal Register of Legislation at https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/F2019L01610   

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