Dairy crisis in dates disgraces ADF and minister

Here’s a potted history of the dairy crisis. It’s worth remembering:

April 2016                   MG stuns the dairy community with the clawback

May 2016                    Fonterra follows suit, crashing its price

May 2016                    Milk price index announced

August 2016                Ag minister Barnaby Joyce says he will put an end to $1 milk

September 2016          Senate inquiry into dairy industry announced

October 2016             Treasurer Scott Morrison instructed the ACCC to hold an inquiry into the competitiveness of prices, trading practices and the supply chain in the Australian dairy industry.

August 2017                Senate committee report released

November 2017          Consultant chosen to deliver milk price index

November 2017          ACCC Interim report

December 2017           Milk price index consultant sacked

March 2018                 UDV opposes mandatory code

April 2018                   ACCC final report

May 2018                    Milk price index due “mid year”

May 2018                     ADF: “we cannot make a snap decision” on mandatory code

June 2018                     Minister Littleproud: no timeframe for decision on mandatory code “will investigate thoroughly”

So, after all this, where are we today, just two weeks from a new set of pricing for our milk?:

  • No action on ACCC recommendations
  • No milk price index
  • No opening price from either of the big two processors
  • $1 milk AND $6 cheese, with promise of even lower retail milk prices

No wonder farmers are angry. The can has already been well and truly kicked down the road. The independent umpire has spoken.

After two years of investigation and analysis, what justification do the ADF and Minister Littleproud have for waiting any longer to do their jobs and take decisive action to protect dairy farmers?

10 thoughts on “Dairy crisis in dates disgraces ADF and minister

  1. Exactly why farmers need to take control of the supply element at the farm gate and their own industry.
    Government processors and retailers will never act in the best interests of the farmers

      • John the great myth of the Australian dairy industry. Already around 70% of production is consumed domestically now, national production is battling to hold if not fall. Population is on target to reach 50 million people by 2050 so we are facing a shortfall for domestic requirements. Without the ever increasing imports of dairy products Australia would barely cover our own needs now

        • We might not have as much being sold on the international market, but these days a lot of domestic contracts are signed on a world market price

          • Which is part of the problem of unsustainable farm gate prices and why the industry is in decline

        • The great myth of the dairy industry is that domestic consumption / retail price has any effect on the farmgate price. Suggest reading the ACCC report which is clear on this subject.

          Even if Aust. ended up as a net importer of dairy the farmgate price would still be constrained by the international market. Likely it would be something in the order of NZ plus freight. The only way to avoid this is Trump style protectionism or domestic reregulation. Any farmers ready to refund to consumers the $1.63bn that they received during deregulation? Thought not.

  2. Marian, It is an absolute disgrace! The industry is already on it’s knees, farmers still leaving in droves or reducing cattle numbers due to a horrible year weather wise! I just don’t understand why there is such little respect for us farmers in an industry that wouldn’t exist without us!!!

  3. Milk and milk based foods are great, and taste delicious, keep up the good work! I’m sure it must be very hard to get up early on Winter mornings to milk, but the Aussie public appreciate our dairy farmers!

  4. Believe there should been a few more headings going back in time. Australian industry divided then and nothing has changed. Some where in the middle there is a solution.

    • Yes, you’re right, Bruce, and there were a lot more lines I could have added just in the period since April 2016.

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