Dairy processor Brownes Foods has been fined for allegedly failing to comply with the Dairy Industry Code of Conduct in 2020-21.
Minister for Agriculture David Littleproud said the penalty sends a strong message that the Dairy Industry Code is working to support farmers and build a fairer dairy supply chain.
“Brownes Foods published milk supply agreements which allegedly did not comply with the Dairy Industry Code, and two infringement notices have resulted in this fine being paid and Brownes Foods addressing ACCC’s concerns in their 2021-22 agreements.
“It just shows that the Dairy Industry Code is delivering for farmers and penalties will be enforced.
“The Australian Government is committed to ensuring a fairer go for dairy businesses and keeping families on the farm while creating a stronger business environment with better regulation, healthier market competition, and more competitive supply chains.
“The mandatory Dairy Industry Code of Conduct is a key part of this.
“The code introduced clarity about how farmers and processors are to conduct their business relationship. It introduced minimum standards of business conduct to help rebalance bargaining power and improve transparency in transactions.
“It includes the requirement for processors to publicly release standard forms of milk supply agreements (MSAs) each year, which started on 1 June 2020.
“This requirement provides dairy processors with the opportunity to show they are offering a fair milk price and contracts that meet the requirements of the code, including by offering non-exclusive contracts.
“The government is working hard to ensure dairy farmers get the best price for their milk and the mandatory code is just one way we are supporting our dairy industry.”
The Dairy Industry Code of Conduct was introduced on 1 January 2020.
The Australian Government has started the first review process of the Dairy Industry Code of Conduct.
The public submission period for the first review of the Dairy Industry Code of Conduct will be open from 5 July 2021 to 15 August 2021.
This review is critical to assessing whether it is operating as intended and delivering the outcomes the dairy industry needs.
The Code and its requirements can be viewed on the Federal Register of Legislation at https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/F2019L01610
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The Hon David Littleproud MP. Minister for Agriculture and Northern Australia