An email sent to dozens of processors by Australian Dairy Products Federation chief, Dr Peter Stahle, has revived discussion about just who will do the analysis for the Milk Price Index (MPI).
It’s the latest twist in what can only be described as a “peculiar” chain of events to dog the rollout of what was billed as a $2 million solution offering transparency in farm gate milk pricing.
In the email, Dr Stahle wrote:
“…the group agreed that the Department would work to deliver, before the end of the financial year, a two-part MPI along the lines of:”
“Part 1 – A commodity price index based on global data, which would additionally indicate near-term trends
“Part 2 – Specific regional supplements that would, with brief commentary, refer to how farm gate prices had been impacted by market conditions. This would include a median price paid for milk (with a range), developed through a survey of farmers in the respective regions.
– extract from ADPF email dated February 6, 2018
During a phone call, Dr Stahle told Milk Maid Marian that industry was yet to see the final proposal and that the details remain open to negotiation and refinement.
Dr Stahle said it was proposed that, through ABARES, the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources would conduct the background analysis and deliver the index.
Meanwhile, Dairy Australia’s Charles McElhone said the involvement of a private consultant had not been ruled out. Although DA has consistently said it will not deliver the MPI, Mr McElhone said the research body would assist whoever was responsible for the analysis.
To ensure participation and a sense of ownership by dairy farmers, Dr Stahle said it was hoped that state dairy farmer organisations or other farmer representative bodies will engage in the delivery of training on the use of the index.