QUEENSLAND farmers says an ACCC inquiry into the dairy industry has failed farmers.
Queensland Dairyfarmers’ Organisation president Brian Tessmann said the ACCC’s interim dairy inquiry report released today lacked direction and failed in its intent of fixing the mess threatening dairy farmers.
“While the report acknowledges the major issue affecting our industry, the fact that farmers are carrying the overwhelming burden of risk in the supply chain, it offers nothing in the way of solutions or recommendations to fix it,” Mr Tessmann said.
“QDO welcome the recommendation for a mandatory dairy code of conduct. However, this will not directly address the biggest issue in Queensland, the impact retail prices are having on farm gate earnings.”
Mr Tessmann said it was clear that the original intent of the report has been lost on the ACCC, with the interim report failing to address the systemic market failures crippling the viability of the Queensland dairy industry.
“After a year of apparent ‘listening’ to dairy farmers the best the ACCC can offer is toothless recommendations that simply rearrange the deck chairs without addressing the crux of the issue, the blatant market failure stemming from the supermarket duopoly,” Mr Tessmann said.
“If our politicians are serious about supporting the Queensland dairy industry they will redirect the ACCC to pull their socks up and deliver upon the clear political and community expectations the dairy inquiry was originally set up to do.
“It’s time for the ACCC to go back to the drawing board and deliver something that will actually help struggling Queensland dairy farmers.”
Mr Tessmann said since the major supermarkets introduced $1/litre milk in 2011 more than $200 million a year has been stripped out of the Queensland dairy supply chain resulting in more than 180 dairy farmers leaving the industry.