We are all very glad to see the back of 2020, though I think it would be unrealistic for anyone to believe that on the stroke of midnight on 31 December, the world righted itself overnight so we wait with bated breath to see what this new year will bring us.
In the meantime, QDO is launching back into the working year with great enthusiasm, we are also cautious as to what the year might bring to our dairy industry.
Late last year, we received the draft determination and interim authorisation on the Fair Go Dairy Logo Scheme. The decision made by the ACCC will allow QDO to start its talks with processors who are interested in using the logo and to formalise contracts.
We are expecting the final decisions regarding the scheme to be given by the ACCC in mid-March and are planning to launch to the consumer market shortly after. Given the hoops we’ve had to go through, we are all looking forward to the success of this Scheme in helping to get a fairer and more sustainable farmgate price for our farmers.
Work on the NSW merger has been moving at a good pace and is on track. All parties involved in the merger, Dairy Connect, NSW Dairy Committee and QDO have been keeping to the planned timeline and we will be appointing a new project officer to manage the day-to-day organisational set up over the next few weeks.
While I began my role as a Director for ADF late last year, my responsibilities as a Board member will ramp up significantly in the next month as the Dairy Plan Committee and its subcommittees reconvene. I will continue to push for a single well-resourced, farmer-controlled national dairy body that each regional/state body can link into must form the basis for the new national framework which, need I say it again, is the only sensible solution for our industry.
QDO will also continue to monitor the effectiveness and fairness of the Dairy Code of Conduct. It was without surprise that we saw a number of processors push their luck on the Code in its infancy, but I am confident that the Code shows promise as a mechanism to restore the balance between farmers and the processors.
We want 2021 to be a great year for the Northern Dairying regions of Australia. We have a terrific team working hard to do what’s best for our farmers and our industry. We are committed to working for our members to become more profitable and to mitigate their risks on farm. Once again, I thank our members and their continued support. Here’s to the year ahead.