A DRAFT mandatory dairy code of conduct has been released, following consultation across all eight dairy regions last year.
Agriculture Minister David Littleproud said the draft code had been released as part of a second round of consultation to ensure everyone was able to have their say.
“A mandatory code will be an industry-defining moment so I want all dairyfarmers, processors and stakeholders to stay involved in shaping it,” Mr Littleproud said.
“Milk levies come and go but the mandatory code would help balance the market power between dairy farmers and processors and improve farmers’ bargaining power.”
Mr Littleproud said the draft code would require processors to publicly release their standard form agreement on a set date each year.
“The code will also establish a dispute resolution process, preventing unilateral changes to agreements, and outlawing retrospective step downs,” he said.
“The dairy industry called for a code and we're getting on with delivering it with as much consultation as possible.”
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A Regulation Impact Statement has also been released for comment to refine assessment of the cost the code would have on farmers and processors.
The code would cover about 87 dairy processors and 5800 dairyfarmers with the voluntary code to remain in place as it is being developed.
To coincide with the release of the draft, additional consultation has been planned in Vic, with the opportunity for those in other regions to take part in national phone-based town hall consultations on February 6 at 2pm (AEDT) and February 7 at 10am (AEDT).
Details: More information about the code and consultations can be found at haveyoursay.agriculture.gov.au/dairy-code-conduct. People can also email email@example.com or phone 1300 044 940.