PEAK dairy farmer group Australian Dairy Farmers (ADF) will facilitate the development of a new trading platform for the dairy industry if the Coalition wins the May election.
Federal Agriculture Minister David Littleproud announced a Coalition government would invest in a platform to create flexibility and price transparency with more choice in sales contracts.
ADF President Terry Richardson said handing this responsibility to the farmer organisation was a logical course of action.
“As a farmer, I think this process has potential and is worth investigating, and we welcome this announcement from the Minister,” Mr Richardson said.
“We are always looking for projects that could have substantial benefit for our industry.”
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) in its review into the dairy industry found that a lack of farmer bargaining power was driving unfair and inefficient industry outcomes.
Under the industry’s new mandatory code of conduct, farmers will also receive the right to sell milk to third parties, which will provide year-round competition driving industry efficiency.
The 2018 National Dairy Farmer Survey found farmer confidence in the future of the industry had dropped from 75 to 47 per cent over the past four years.
Alarmingly, 40 per cent of dairy farmers did not make an operating profit in the 2016-17 financial year.
Mr Richardson said ADF appreciated the recognition from the government that the dairy industry is under considerable pressure that is coming at dairy farmers from many directions.
“It is incumbent on organisations like ADF to ‘kick over every log’ to explore a range of options that can assist farmers, return confidence and improve investment in the Australian dairy industry,” he said.
“It is imperative that farmers have as many options and tools as possible at their disposal as they collectively navigate this complex environment.”