ACCC report falls short of farmers’ expectations

The NSW Farmers’ Association is frustrated that the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s (ACCC) final report following the Dairy Inquiry has not addressed key competition issues in the dairy industry.

NSW Farmers’ Dairy Committee Chair Erika Chesworth said that the recommendations focused on addressing the power imbalance between farmers and processors, but ignored the power of retailers. 

“Farmers do not have sufficient power in their dealings with processors, and this has resulted in milk prices and other contractual terms being imposed.

“The only way to effectively address this power imbalance is for the dairy industry to develop a mandatory code.

“A mandatory code will improve the power of farmers, by providing all farmers with legal protection, increasing the information available and enabling a fairer allocation of risk.

“The code will not be a silver bullet for farmers but it will give them a base level of protection and ensure that breaches are enforced,”Ms Chesworth said.

The Association is astonished that the ACCC failed to investigate the impact of retailer behavior on farmers. 

“The conclusion that $1 litre milk has not damaged farmers’ milk price is a shallow and incorrect analysis.”

“Private label milk has reduced the money available in the supply chain. It has placed pressure throughout the chain and this result is farmers’ milk price being squeezed.

“This inquiry was a once in a generation opportunity and it fails to undertake the actions needed to ensure a sustainable dairy supply chain into the future,” Ms Chesworth concluded.
Date - Tuesday 1 May 2018
Contact - Kathleen Curry  |  Public Affairs Director | 0429 011 690