Farm­ers con­cerned about code process

Tasmanian Country - - NEWS -

DAIRY farm­ers have ac­cused fed­eral bu­reau­crats of us­ing a pro­ces­sor-de­vel­oped tem­plate as the ba­sis for Aus­tralia’s first manda­tory dairy code of con­duct, which is meant to im­prove con­tract­ing prac­tices.

In Vic­to­ria last week many of the 65 farm­ers at­tend­ing con­sul­ta­tive meet­ings said bu­reau­crats pre­sented them with the Aus­tralian Dairy In­dus­try Coun­cils draft as a “benchmark” or “tem­plate” on which to build a manda­tory code for the in­dus­try.

Farmer Power ad­vo­cate Alex Robert­son, who at­tended a meet­ing, said the depart­ment’s as­sis­tant sec­re­tary Jo Grainger made lit­tle men­tion of the Aus­tralian Com­pe­ti­tion and Con­sumer Com­mis­sion’s rec­om­men­da­tions and fo­cused in­stead on ADIC’s draft code.

“The prob­lem is peo­ple think the ADIC is run by pro­ces­sors,” Mr Robert­son said.

“Ev­ery­one walked out say­ing the whole thing stank. It’s like it’s been set up to fail.”

United Dairy­farm­ers of Vic­to­ria act­ing pres­i­dent Paul Mum­ford said his mem­bers re­mained op­posed to a manda­tory code.

He said Ms Grainger pre­sented the ADIC code as a work­ing tem­plate, but was re­lieved to hear a manda­tory code would not go ahead un­less it passed judg­ment via a reg­u­la­tory im­pact state­ment.

“That’s the point where she told us we may not end up with a manda­tory code,” he said. “It gave me the opin­ion that we may not end up with a manda­tory code as we thought.”

There are key dif­fer­ences be­tween the prin­ci­ples the ACCC wants en­shrined in a manda­tory dairy code and those out­lined by ADIC, on dis­pute res­o­lu­tion, ex­clu­sive sup­ply clauses and step downs.

A de­part­men­tal spokesman said the ADIC’s draft was be­ing con­sid­ered as part of the con­sul­ta­tion process, but was not a benchmark.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.