Investigations into Coles’ Unconscionable Conduct Continue

Oct 17, 2014

investigation-coles Australian Dairy Farmers (ADF) has welcomed further legal action by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s (ACCC) against Coles’ unconscionable conduct towards suppliers in mid-October, 2014.

ACCC Chair, Rod Sims said Coles forced suppliers to pay "gaps" in the profit of products it made – including cost of wastage, store markdowns and missing deliveries – even when it had no legitimate basis to do so.

"The ACCC alleges that Coles took advantage of its superior bargaining position by demanding money from suppliers that it was not lawfully entitled to, and was, in all the circumstances, unconscionable," said Mr Sims.

These proceedings arise out of the same ACCC investigation against Coles on 5 May with regards to Coles’ unconscionable conduct towards 200 of its smaller suppliers, in breach of the Australian Consumer Law (ACL).

ADF President, Noel Campbell said he looks forward to the result of the court case given ADF’s strong track record of advocacy to the ACCC since the introduction of the $1 per litre retail milk price.

"This latest action by the ACCC highlights the need for a Mandatory Code of Conduct, including the establishment of an independent Supermarket Ombudsman with penalties to balance the excessive market power of the major retailers," Mr Campbell said.

ADF will continue to lobby Government and engage in dialogue with the major retailers about the code.

President’s Message - October 2014

Oct 15, 2014

president message A China–Australia Free Trade Agreement (FTA) remains one of our highest priorities for the industry. I have spent a lot of time recently in China, as part of the Australian Dairy Delegation in August and, in September, as the only dairy industry body representative with the trade delegation led by Minister for Agriculture the Hon. Barnaby Joyce.

ADF appreciates the hard work being done by the Federal Government and will continue working hand in hand with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Department of Agriculture to help get the best possible deal.

dairy comes to

I took the opportunity to attend the China Dairy Industry Association annual conference in Shanghai in August. The Australian industry has been working closely with our Chinese counterpart to foster a mutually beneficial trade partnership. I have also met with Chinese Government officials, industry representatives and Australian diplomats. A China-Australia FTA will not only provide the export growth that our industry needs, it will provide Chinese consumers with better access to high-demand products, as well as an improved overall diversity of supply.

On 1 October, we formally launched the Australian Dairy Vision in Canberra, where two Cumberoona Holsteins ventured to Parliament House to graze Federation Mall lawn. 'Australian Dairy – Prosperous, Trusted, World Renowned Nutrition' – will be a statement by which our industry is known for and proud of by 2025.

Agricultural R&D Levies System – Have your say!

Oct 13, 2014

The Federal Government is undertaking an inquiry into the systems and structures for the agricultural research and development (R&D) levies. This includes the dairy services levy that contributes to Dairy Australia and the equivalent levies paid by farmers for other research and development corporations.

The Senate Committee is very keen to hear farmers' views about levies, including views on: turning R,D&E into results on-farm; the value of having a dairy research and development corporation; opportunities levy payers have to influence how it is spent; and in general, views on having a levy poll which many other commodities do not have.

ADF encourages all dairy farmers to make a submission to the inquiry and has developed a template letter and example writing points for farmers. Your submission letter can be as short or long as you like, and cover all points of the inquiry or just one. Although the official submission date has passed, the Senate Committee is open to receiving submissions until the end of November; however you may contact them if you require additional time.

Contact details for the Inquiry secretariat are 02 6277 3511 or Submissions can be sent to this email address. For more information, please contact the ADF office (03) 8621 4291.

For more information about the Inquiry and its terms of reference, click here.

Dairy Futures CRC 2014 Industry Mentoring Dinner

Oct 10, 2014

industry dinner Attending Dairy Futures CRC Industry Mentoring Dinner (L-R): CRC Education Officer ‘Get into Genes’, Sian Fitzpatrick, CRC Deputy Chief Scientist, Prof. Ben Cocks, ADF CEO, Natalie Collard, mentor and Portland dairy farmer, Naomi Pye. Celebrating an important milestone with 30 Dairy Futures CRC PhD students benefitting from a dairy industry mentor, this year’s Dairy Futures CRC Industry Mentoring Dinner went off with a bang.

Following an intensive two-day workshop, some of Australia’s brightest PhD bioscience candidates joined industry leaders in a celebratory dinner to thank the industry and its mentors for their ongoing support, and to congratulate the alumni on the program.

The mentoring program, which began in 2012, forms part of Dairy Futures CRC’s commitment to providing high-quality bioscience researchers to support a productive dairy industry.

Dairy Futures CRC Manager for Education and Industry Engagement, Belinda Griffiths said the mentoring program helps connect students with people in the dairy industry who can provide first-hand support for their careers.

"The impact of the mentoring program can be profound in terms of technical gains and personal development. Strong industry connections also build a strong sense of belonging that encourages students to continue to work within the dairy industry after they complete their PhD," Ms Griffiths said.

For more information on the program, contact Belinda Griffiths: or (03) 9032 7187

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