Apr 04, 2016
This finding and others are reported in the latest Herd Improvement Report, published recently by the Australian Dairy Herd Improvement Scheme (ADHIS)
and the National Herd Improvement Association of Australia (NHIA).
Mar 21, 2016
The Dairy Levy Poll process is set to be streamlined following the passing of legislation in March 2016 to alter review procedures while retaining a strong democratic process for farmers.
The passage of the Bill provides certainty around the process for the 2017 levy review process and future reviews. Australian Dairy Farmers (ADF) has welcomed the passage of the Bill, re-emphasising that this is not about removing Dairy Australia from scrutiny, but instead about streamlining the process and making sure every levy dollar invested delivers value back to farmers.
ADF thanked the Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, the Hon. Barnaby Joyce and the Department of Agriculture for championing the Bill on behalf of dairy farmers, who voted to make the changes to the process in November 2015.
The changes mean that instead of a mandatory poll, every five years, an industry advisory committee will review whether there is a need to change the levy or conduct a poll. If no change in the levy is recommended, there will not be a poll. However, a poll must be held if it is recommended there be a change in the levy.
The changes also provide a mechanism to allow dairy farmers to request a poll with the support of at least 15 per cent of levy votes.
Now that the legislation is passed ADF will oversee the development of more in-depth procedures for the revised process.
For further information regarding the Dairy Levy Poll process review, visit www.dairylevypollreview.com.au
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.