Not everyone in the dairy industry is celebrating the launch of a voluntary code of conduct governing how milk processors treat farmers.
The new voluntary code calls for more transparency around milk prices, farmers to receive all bonus payments they’re entitled to and fair warning of price cuts.
One of the leaders of renegade lobby group, Farmer Power has labelled the new code, ‘disappointing’ and said it would not bring much needed change to the industry.
“The people (milk companies) can walk away from these agreements whenever they like,” Vice President, Alex Robertson said
Farmer Power believes most dairy companies that have signed onto the voluntary code are not currently complying with it.
Accusing dairy processors of breaking the code by:
- Continuing to sign up farmers to three-year contracts without a pricing commitment.
- Maintaining murky price and payment systems.
- Offering bonuses up front for farmers to sign contracts with no pricing information or commitment
- Continuing these practices whilst signing a voluntary code stating they should not be doing it
Mr Robertson criticised the Australian Dairy Industry council which developed the code for being too close to the milk processors that the code is meant to protect farmers from.
“This is an organisation that is paid and run by the processors.”
“Why would they do anything that is going to run against it,” he said.
Source: ABC Rural