Boost for dairy competitiveness welcomed

Jul 18, 2015

The much-anticipated Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper released on Saturday 4 July on Australian Dairy Farmers (ADF) National Councillor, Roma Britnell’s dairy farm in Victoria has delivered key initiatives which mark a positive step toward delivering higher productivity and profitability for Australian dairy.

Key benefits for dairy farmers which have been championed by ADF as part of the Australian Dairy Industry Council (ADIC) include increased funding for Agricultural Counsellors abroad to address technical barriers to trade in overseas markets; improved flexibility of Farm Management Deposits and investment in establishing agricultural expertise in the provision of an Agricultural Commissioner for the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).

“We are pleased to see that key points of the ADIC’s recommendations to the Green Paper have been taken on board,” ADIC Chair, Noel Campbell said.

“In particular, the provision of $11.4 million over four years toward boosting ACCC engagement with agriculture, including an ACCC Agriculture Commissioner, will aid in fostering a stronger business environment throughout the supply chain.”

The ADIC submissions to the issues and green papers covered all aspects of agricultural policy with a particular focus on the following key areas:

  • Continued support for research, development and extension projects;
  • Overseas trade market access;
  • Strengthening competition laws;
  • Improving skilled labour availability.

The Government’s enhanced commitment to research, development and extension projects with a focus on innovation and risk management was also welcomed by the ADIC. The commitment of $200 million to improve biosecurity surveillance and analysis nationally will also play an essential role in creating a more durable, profitable and competitive dairy industry.

Additionally, the Government’s confirmation for water efficiency projects combined with improving existing water infrastructure and developing new infrastructure is positive. Increased support for these initiatives was a key recommendation in the ADIC’s submission to the Green Paper.

Mr Campbell said that the ADIC is committed to working with Government to see swift implementation of the initiatives delivered in the White Paper.

“The White Paper points us in the right direction in terms of where we want to go and as an industry we now look forward to working with Government to ensure that these initiatives translate into real outcomes for dairy.”

Click here to view the ADIC’s submission to the Agricultural Competitiveness Green Paper. 


Taking Dairy Bioscience to Canberra

Jun 12, 2015

Dairy bioscience took its place alongside the cochlear ear implant, aeronautics and global stock exchange surveillance software when major technology advances were showcased to the Prime Minister and other dignitaries last month.

Australian Dairy Farmers (ADF) President Noel Campbell joined Dairy Futures CRC’s CEO David Nation and Chair Mike Ginnivan at Parliament House in Canberra for the annual Cooperative Research Centres (CRC) Association Conference.

This year’s event, themed Australia 2040, celebrated 25 years of innovations by more than 40 CRCs to Australian leaders, including Prime Minister Tony Abbott. The conference included an innovation showcase, at which many of the 400 attendees, including ministers, parliamentarians, advisers and ambassadors, took the opportunity to better understand both the scale of innovation being undertaken by the dairy industry and how bioscience will make a real difference to dairy farm businesses through pasture and cattle breeding.

Mr Campbell, Dr Nation and Dr Ginnivan met the Prime Minister and discussed how Dairy Futures CRC is enhancing dairy productivity through pasture and herd improvements using genomics.

Dr Nation said that agriculture now sits beside medicine as a major driver of scientific progress in Australia.

“Dairy Futures CRC is a success story for industry-driven innovation. We have over-delivered on our original commitments and transformed dairy herd and pasture breeding in Australia.

“The effects of many of our innovations are already in farmers’ and commercial partners’ hands and we expect these will grow rapidly over the next 10 years.”

After the showcase, Dairy Futures CRC was delighted to join ADF in hosting The Hon. Joel Fitzgibbon and Senator Bridget McKenzie at a dinner in the Great Hall at Parliament House.

Other distinguished guests included the Prime Minister, keynote speaker and Minister for Industry and Science, The Hon. Ian Macfarlane, Australia’s Chief Scientist, Ian Chubb, as well as ambassadors, high commissioners and senior officials from 15 countries.

Mr Macfarlane spoke of the great benefit CRCs have brought to research and development in Australia, delivering significant economic, environmental and social outcomes.

ADF looks forward to working with Dairy Futures to build the long term sustainability of farming practices, and will continue to advocate strongly for the positive innovations of transformational bioscience.    


Proposed competition overhaul: What could it mean for dairy?

Apr 08, 2015

On 30 March, Australian Dairy Farmers (ADF) welcomed the release of the Competition Policy Review Panel’s final report as crucial to creating a healthier, more competitive and successful market place for consumers, food suppliers and retailers.

Also known as the Harper Review, the independent policy review’s stronger focus on balancing market power between supplier and retailers has been well received as acknowledgement of the significant input and recommendations ADF made on competition law and policy.

The Review is the first evaluation of Australia's competition policy in 22 years and recommends strengthening provisions for abuse of market power, as well as proposing changes to collective bargaining that will strengthen farmers’ negotiating power.

ADF President, Noel Campbell said the Review’s recommendation to re-introduce an Effects Test to measure the ‘purpose, effect or likely effect’ of retailer actions on suppliers was particularly positive.

“We support the Panel’s recommendations to increase the focus on dealing with the current imbalance of major retailer market power, through initiatives such as the Effects Test.

“Farmers need every opportunity to improve their negotiating power for profitability and returns at the farm-gate to be achieved,” Mr Campbell said.

Mr Campbell did however express disappointment that there was no meaningful consideration in the review of the role of a Mandatory Code of Conduct, or the need for a Supermarket Ombudsman “with teeth” to address the issue of potential misuse of market power.

“The unequal distribution of market power means that farmers are often backed into a corner when it comes to farm-gate prices. This is a disadvantage that is heightened due to logistical constraints in supplying perishable goods,” Mr Campbell explained.

Mr Campbell said ADF looked forward to the opportunity to respond to the Review’s recommendations to ensure that our nation’s competition legislation is robust and able to protect our dairy farmers going forward.

“ADF will also continue to advocate as legislative amendments are developed to prevent potentially damaging situations, such as retailer predatory pricing in future,” Mr Campbell said.

The Competition Policy Review is one of three significant developments to occur in 2015, alongside the announcement of the Competition and Consumer (Industry Codes – Food and Grocery) Regulation 2015 in March, and the Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper which is due for release later this year.

To view ADF’s submission to the Competition Policy Review,click here.

ADIC responds to Agricultural Competitiveness Green Paper

Jan 12, 2015

The Australian Dairy Industry Council (ADIC) lodged its submission in response to the Federal Government’s Agricultural Competitiveness Green Paper on 19 December, 2014.

In the joint submission with Dairy Australia, the ADIC commented on many of the Green Paper’s policy proposals, with a particular call on the Government to address four priority areas that affect the industry’s competitiveness in the short to medium term; research, development and extension (R,D&E); access to international markets; investment; and people. 

Recognising the Government’s funding of dairy R,D&E as an acknowledgement of its essential role in creating a more durable industry, the ADIC encouraged the Government to reaffirm its commitment to these programs.

The ADIC welcomed the successful conclusion of the China-Australia free trade agreement (ChAFTA), but highlighted that there are still opportunities for growth through the conclusion of further bilateral and multilateral trade agreements that provide genuine liberalisation of all dairy products. The ADIC also sought the removal of hurdles such as technical barriers to trade that need to be addressed.

Increased Government support for industry efforts to encourage investment and ensure a positive regulatory environment to underpin confidence and certainty for dairy investment was a further recommendation.

The ADIC also highlighted the need for enhanced Government support for Australian dairy programs designed to attract and retain a highly skilled, productive workforce.



Select Tags