“It’s time for the ACCC to go back to the drawing board and deliver something that will actually help dairy farmers.”
The Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) released its interim Dairy inquiry report released last week, with some people saying it does not address issues affecting the Queensland dairy industry.
Queensland Dairyfarmers’ Organisation (QDO) President Brian Tessmann said the report lacked direction and intent to deliver what it was established to do - fix the mess threatening dairy farmers interests.
“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 Tessman 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.
“It is 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.”
Mr Tessman said the time spent interacting with farmers did not produce the best results.
“Over a year of apparent ‘listening’ to dairy farmers and 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,” he 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 Tessman said that since the major supermarkets began charging $1 for a litre of milk in 2011 more than $200 million dollars a year had been stripped out of the Queensland dairy supply chain, resulting in more than 180 dairy farmers leaving the industry.