ALL options will remain open to address relations between dairy farmers and milk processors as peak representative body the Australian Dairy Industry Council moves ahead with its 12- month review of the industry’s Code of Practice.
The Code was introduced in July last year and the industry group committed at the time to undertake a review after a year to assess its effectiveness.
“ADIC is conducting a scheduled review of the Voluntary Code of Practice, which was agreed to by all state dairy farmer organisations,” ADIC Chairman Terry Richardson said.
“The review will determine how effective the Voluntary Code has been and whether it is necessary to adopt a different approach. This could be a prescribed voluntary code, mandatory code or another mechanism altogether. Nothing is off the table.”
As part of the process, the ADIC will analyse separate reports handed down by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) and the federal Senate’s Economics Reference Committee.
The final ADIC report will include options to improve contract processes, increase price transparency, build industry capability and bolster the Code of Practice.
Mr Richardson said the review would involve stakeholders across the dairy supply chain to ensure the best outcome for farmers.
“The Code of Practice is a vital part of restoring relationships across industry,” he said.
“We want to ensure we get the Code right and the review process is the best way to achieve that outcome.
“At this stage it would be wrong to pre-empt the outcome of the review.”
It is expected the review will be complete by the end of June.
Advocacy body Australian Dairy Farmers will then hold a series of forums aimed at educating farmers on how the recommendations will be implemented.