Reviews of supply contracts, pricing system underway

Jun 17, 2016

Dairy farmer representatives on the ADF Markets, Trade and Value Chain Policy Advisory Group (PAG) gathered in Melbourne this week to discuss a range of measures to establish a fairer, more transparent dairy market.

Simplifying supplier contracts and agreements featured heavily and methods to make them simpler and more transparent. Further to this the lack of transparency regarding milk pricing, and its ability to be retrospective is unacceptable and must be addressed.

The PAG also reviewed the methods to give clear, independent and credible market and price signals to dairy farmers and how this might be practically applied to the Australian dairy market.

Providing farmers with the right tools and resources to manage the opportunities and risks associated with a fluctuating dairy market was also a focus to help bolster the industry’s resilience in the long term.

Significantly, the meeting agreed upon the need to modernise the Australian industry’s pricing structures and contracts to recognise the complex operating environment that farmers face, to better balance financial risk along the supply chain. ADF is working with all state members, levels of Government and industry to achieve these endeavours.

ADF continues to press for the release of the full dairy support package as soon as possible and will update farmers as soon as this information is released.

We have had a couple of operational changes at ADF in recent weeks, with the resignation of ADF CEO Benjamin Stapley announced yesterday. The ADF Board has already taken steps to ensure that the role of CEO is well served in both the short and long term.

Contact has already been made with former ADF CEO John McQueen, now an industry consultant, to step into this important leadership role on an interim basis while the recruitment process is completed. Mr McQueen steps into the role as early as Monday morning and there will be a smooth, effective transition so no time is lost in fulfilling ADF’s mission to lobby for a stronger future for Australian dairy farmers.

These are unprecedented times and we need to ensure we have the right leadership balance to effectively address these issues, while not losing sight of other priorities important to building farmers long term sustainability.

The small team at ADF, remains committed to driving strong policy to transform the way our industry operates for the better.

Many farmers have been calling our offices in recent weeks seeking advice, assistance and information on what ADF is doing on their behalf. We encourage you to keep connecting with ADF to ensure we effectively represent your interests.

 

David Basham

Acting ADF President

2016 PAG meetings in full swing

Mar 31, 2016

Australian Dairy Farmers’ (ADF) Policy Advisory Group (PAG) first round of meetings took place in March, identifying priorities for the election year with in depth discussion about issues continuing to affect farmers’ productivity and profitability.

Markets, Trade and Value Chain PAG Chair, Adam Jenkins said the group has come back refreshed and invigorated about the next 12 months of work.

“2015 saw considerable progress in the Markets, Trade and Value Chain policy focus area, with the implementation of the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement as well as developments in Competition policy which will foster a stronger business environment for farmers,” Mr Jenkins said.

“Yet the conditions are always volatile for dairy, and we must continue to find ways to build an even more competitive marketplace for farmers to ensure they can be productive and profitable.”

To set the scene for the key policy issues ahead, Rabobank’s Michael Harvey presented the Markets PAG with the outlook for 2016-17. PAG Chair, Adam Jenkins, said addressing technical barriers to trade will continue to be a focus of the Markets PAG this year.

On the natural resources front, the Natural Resource Management PAG discussed key issues for the year ahead. A focus of the meeting was the industry’s climate change policy, with discussions at the meeting engaging both the Climate Change Authority and Minister for Environment, Greg Hunt’s office respectively.

Water policy will also remain a major focus for 2016. PAG Chair, Daryl Hoey said 2016 is ‘crunch time’ for the Murray Darling Basin Plan.

“Despite the challenges it is faced with, the Murray Darling Basin is a region filled with opportunity for Australian dairy,” Mr Hoey said.

“We need the government to make sound, well-considered decisions to ensure the viability of dairy businesses in this region can continue long into the future. This remains a top priority for the Natural Resources PAG for the year ahead.”

ADF has five policy focus areas, each with a dedicated PAG comprised of elected farmer members. These groups are led by a farmer appointed Chair, working in collaboration with ADF policy officers to discuss priorities and strategic direction.

PAGs recommend policy settings to ADF via the National Council and also act in an advisory capacity providing feedback to Dairy Australia, state dairy farmer organisations (SDFOs), and other bodies like the National Farmers Federation and the Australian Dairy Products Federation.

Stay tuned to the ADF Update for more information about ADF’s PAG meetings as they roll out over 2016.


2016 PAG nominations now open: don’t miss out!

Mar 01, 2016

Are you a member of Australian Dairy Farmers (ADF) interested in making a contribution to policy for our industry? There are two weeks left to register your expression of interest in joining one of ADF’s Policy Advisory Groups (PAGs):

  • Markets, Trade and Value Chain;
  • People and Human Capacity;
  • Animal Health and Welfare;
  • Farming Systems and Herd Improvement; and
  • Natural Resources.

PAGs play a key role in setting business objectives for our industry and driving policy formulation. They help to ensure dairy interests are properly represented at a domestic and international level.

ADF President, Simone Jolliffe said the role of the PAGs was critical to policy formulation for the long-term future of dairy.

“We face many challenges as an industry and have always relied on the vision, passion and participation of people within dairy to help find viable solutions,” said Mrs Jolliffe.

ADF PAGs recommend policy settings to the ADF via the National Council and also act in an advisory capacity providing feedback to Dairy Australia, state dairy farmer organisations (SDFOs) and other bodies like the National Farmers Federation and the Australian Dairy Products Federation.

Mrs Jolliffe welcomed and encouraged direct involvement from dairy farmers to drive policy in the right direction.

Expressions of interest close Friday 18 March 2016. For more information and to receive an application form contact schahine@australiandairyfarmers.com.au.


 

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