National lobby body Australian Dairy Farmers is the rightful owner of an $11 million fund that had been claimed by the Australian Dairy Industry Council.
The ADIC, a body representing both farmers via ADF and processors via the Australian Dairy Products Federation (ADPF), had controlled the fund until an investigation of historic documents uncovered its origin.
The investment portfolio was born from the Dairy Industry Stabilisation Fund created in the 1960s.
In an email to members on Tuesday, ADF president Terry Richardson wrote that ADF would supplement its revenue with income generated by the fund while preserving its current value.
«In the short-term, this means that we now have access to the capital growth of the assets, which allows us to be more financially self-sufficient,» he wrote.
«This means we will be able to draw from the growth of the assets.
«We have no intention to draw down on the corpus itself.»
Mr Richardson said the ADF would continue to seek other funding sources.
In July, ADF announced it would no longer access up to $1.1 million a year annually from processors to run the ADIC in response to farmers concerns surrounding its independence.
Irrespective of any payment by processors towards its costs, it appears ADF staff members will carry on coordinating the operation of the umbrella body.
«ADF will continue to provide a secretariat service for the ADIC on matters of industry significance, but I want to assure you that our one priority is the work that benefits farmers,» Mr Richardson told members.
The farmer body provided the secretariat service for the ADIC under a 2003 agreement signed by ADF and ADPF.
The terms would be reviewed at the next ADIC meeting, an ADF spokesperson told Stock & Land.
United Dairyfarmers of Victoria (UDV) president Paul Mumford said it was, «extremely important that there is unification of industry under ADIC branding on appropriate topics like trade.».
«On the flip side, however, it is equally important ADF has a strong, independent voice to fight for farmers’ concerns.»