Last week dairy giant Saputo gave conditional support for a mandatory code.
Since then, everyone’s been waiting to see if others will follow suit.
Dairy processor Fonterra now says it would consider a mandatory code of conduct for the dairy industry, but only if a voluntary code fails.
Fonterra Australia managing director Rene Dedoncker says processors should be given time to show they can abide by a voluntary code.
Row in the US over the use of the term ‘milk’
Manufacturers of plant-based milk alternatives sold in the United States may soon have to stop using the term ‘milk’ to describe their products.
The move follows the European Court of Justice in June last year ruling that manufacturers of plant-based products should not mislead consumers by labelling them milk, butter, cheese or yoghurt.
The United States food regulator, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), has now signalled its plans to start enforcing regulations that define milk as an animal product.
Human and animal interaction helps spread antibiotic resistance
An international study including data from 50 countries, looking at a range of animals and hospital records dating back to the 1930s including Australian scientific collaboration, has confirmed the link between animals and humans in the spread of antibiotic resistance.
But the picture in Australia is a bit different to what you might expect.
Here, the problem is more likely to be an issue of people interacting with their pets while in other countries it’s intensive agriculture that’s to blame.
Professor Steven Tong, from the University of Melbourne’s infectious diseases unit, was among the scientists to contribute to the research and he looked at ‘staph’ infections.
‘We know across a lot of different studies that antibiotics used in livestock management can lead to the emergence of resistance in the bacteria that affect those livestock if you provide a whole bunch of antibiotics to animals or humans and they have bacteria on them the ones that survive will be those that are resistant to those antibiotics so if a cow has golden staph and it’s given a whole bunch of antibiotics and the golden staph that survives will be those that are resistant to those antibiotics so the use of, the overuse of antibiotics will ultimately drive antibiotic resistance.
‘This paper demonstrates that it goes both ways there’s both transmission from humans to animals and back from animals to humans.
Trump announces US farmer subsidies
The big news out of the US this week is government plans to spend 12 billion dollars to help cope with China’s tariffs on agricultural produce.
Farmers in the US are very worried about the effect these tariffs are going to have.
The National Farmers Federation says Australian farmers are among the least subsidised in the world, and this will make it even harder to them to compete on the international export market.
Chief Executive Tony Maher says the decision is staggering.
‘Particularly when Australian farmers pretty well across the country are facing such difficulties and such huge challenges from drought or dry conditions and we know Australian farmers get little or no subsidies at all.
We’re sort of fighting to get some sort of assistance through some hard times and then you see US government handing out $12 billion. We’re used to Australian farmers being on the wrong end of the playing field in terms of subsidies and still we’ve been able to compete and our products are highly regarded in global markets. So we’ve done the hard yards, we’ve removed all the subsidies and tariffs and things here, but some of the things that they’re talking about some of these subsidies talking about buying out surplus commodities in the US it just is really another distortion in the market place that Australian farmers will have to cope with and you know, plain and simple it’s unfair.
Drought prompts new sources of cattle feed
Some farmers are getting nutrition for their stock where ever they can get it.
The Hoddle family at Gunnedah in New South Wales owns and runs a citrus farm. But they also run about 700 head of cattle.
Their fodder crop as failed and they’re struggling to feed that herd.
When they send sell their fruit to the juicing company they usually don’t see it again, but they’ve struck a deal with the company to have the peels returned for cattle feed.
Edward Hoddle says its a good use of the by-product.
‘We’re in the drought, you’ve got to be pragmatic and we’re looking at all options to keep our cattle alive.
‘So peel is this manna from heaven arriving on the back of a truck. We’ve never actually used peel before, generally we’ll get an oats crop but that hasn’t come to head this year because of dry conditions.
This is a great collaboration with our juicing company to return the skins so we can have feed for our cattle.