Feb 29, 2016
There has been a lot of discussion about investment for a stronger future this month, with a great deal of excitement generated by recent investments in Australian dairy.
Such investment will have positive impacts for farming communities.Investors may be interested in further value added opportunities for milk processing.
This could be a generator of new growth and development for the whole industry. Investment that passes our foreign investment regulatory tests continue
to the benefit of Australian dairy.
Importantly, our industry recognises that this stronger future depends equally on economic, environmental and social outcomes. Dairy continues to hold itself accountable by not waiting for change to occur, but by initiating positive change ourselves. The industry’s progress is highlighted by the Sustainability Framework’s 2015 Progress Report – set to be released shortly via www.sustainabledairyoz.com.au.
It was my great pleasure to discuss the industry’s performance against the key targets with the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources in late February
at the Canberra Dairy Forum, and to share more about our industry’s commitment to retaining our social licence to operate.
I encourage you all to take a look at the Progress Report when it is released in mid-march and provide feedback.
Part of tackling sustainability challenges and helping the industry demonstrate performance to the Australian community, is investing in agile representative structures. On the heels of a period of significant policy achievement, ADF is in the strongest position it has ever been. Much of this we owe to our 2012 restructure which helped build greater transparency and engagement with key stakeholders, particularly decision makers in government.
We recognise that there is room to further improve our representative models, to ensure that we can continue to effectively advocate on behalf of all dairy farmers in all dairying regions. The proposed National Farmers’ Federation’s restructure has begun this conversation and ADF looks forward to furthering this discussion to ensure dairy representation has a future that maintains currency, relevance and accountability.
Feb 24, 2016
Competition law has been the focus of a Government overhaul over the past fiver years, with the intention of preventing situations such as the $1 per litre milk campaign – a damaging state of affairs for dairy farmers which highlighted the significant imbalance of market power between retailers and suppliers in the grocery supply chain.
In its discussion paper on the Options to Strengthen the Misuse of Market Power Law, Australian Dairy Farmers (ADF) once
again emphasised the need for an ‘effects test’ to be inserted into Australia’s Competition Law.
Without an effects test the current tactics and actions of the major retailers will continue to result in substantial lessening of competition in the market place. This means a significant impact on the viability of proprietary branded dairy products, less product variety on supermarket shelves, less choice and in the long term, higher prices for consumers.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) must be
given the ability to examine the effect of such strategies, with particular emphasis on the impact on competition (including small businesses like
corner stores and regional supply chains), consumer choice, farmer viability and future prices.
Of the six options proposed to amend the current misuse of market power provisions, ADF believes the most practical option proposes that the existing provision
be amended by removing the words ‘take advantage’. The law would be amended with the wording, ‘purpose, effect or likely effect of substantially lessening
However, ADF does not agree with the inclusion of the ‘purpose’ element due to the practical difficulties of proving purpose. Inclusion of the purpose
element and defence as outlined in the Harper Review recommendation 30 may make the effects test unworkable in reality.
An effects test is in line with competition policy around the world – almost all western nations, except for Australia and New Zealand have an effects test.
There is strong support for the proposed changes to the effects test, from competition experts, including the Harper Review Panel, the ACCC, former Chairmen
of the ACCC, Rod Sims as well as small businesses, suppliers and farmers across Australia.
ADF will continue to advocate for stronger misuse of market power laws to foster a more competitive business environment. To view ADF’s submission to the discussion paper, click here.
Feb 04, 2016
The official signing of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) in Auckland, on 4 February has been welcomed by the Australian Dairy Industry Council (ADIC). The signing follows an agreement reached between the twelve negotiating countries on 6 October 2015.
The TPP made some gains made for the Australian dairy industry in improving opportunities in key export markets such as Japan.
The conclusion of the TPP continues a historic period of increased trade liberalisation over the past few years.
Following the signing ceremony, Australia must now go through a domestic ratification process. This means that before any binding treaty action is taken, the TPP text and a National Interest Analysis will be tabled in Parliament for 20 joint sitting days.
The Joint Standing Committee on Treaties (JSCOT) will conduct an inquiry into the TPP and report back to Parliament on 'matters arising from the TPP treaty
and related National Interest Analysis and proposed treaty actions presented or deemed to be presented to the Parliament.'
The ADIC will provide a submission to the inquiry.
Jan 25, 2016
Welcome to the New Year. I hope you have all had the chance for a short break at least, and are ready to work together to tackle the challenges and opportunities that 2016 brings.
In recent years, Australian Dairy Farmers (ADF) has strengthened dairy’s ties with Canberra to raise the profile of the issues that matter most to our farmers. ADF has maintained our reputation of acting apolitically, being accessible to all politicians, and being willing to listen.
This year we will continue to build this profile, while simultaneously building on our capacity to deliver value to members.
So far in 2016, key members of the ADF team have visited members in central New South Wales. In February our CEO will visit Western Australia – to talk and listen about priorities for the year ahead. These are the first of many 2016 interstate meetings to follow.
I encourage you to take the opportunity and introduce yourself to our team. The passion and commitment that the ADF staff has to help achieve a stronger future for our industry is evident, and we are all prepared to listen to your thoughts, ideas and constructive feedback.
The beginning of the year has been challenging for farmers. Extreme weather conditions brought drought or very dry conditions in Tasmania, West Victoria, South Australia as well as savage bushfires in Western Australia. ADF is seeking to assist its state members with recovery efforts. I commend the efforts of WA Farmers, Western Dairy and Dairy Australia, in providing practical support and counsel to the affected farmers in WA.
Events like these are a timely reminder that so many aspects of our business are affected by elements beyond our control. ADF is committed to ensure that farmers have the information and resources they need to take control of what they can. Dairy Australia also has a great resource of tools and information to assist in preparation and recovery.
In February, ADF will host an environmental scanning and industry planning workshop with key stakeholders such as our state members and Dairy Australia. These sessions will aid in setting our advocacy priorities for 2016, to establish a sound policy platform which ensures we can capitalise upon growth opportunities delivered by 2015’s advocacy.
I look forward to getting out and about in order to meet with as many members and non-members as possible over the course of 2016 to ensure ADF can continue to deliver value for the industry.