The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has published a fact sheet to assist farmers in understanding their rights and obligations under the Dairy Industry Code of Conduct.
The Dairy Industry Code of Conduct came into effect on January 1 as a mandatory industry code.
The code applies to farmers and processors, setting out requirements in relation to supply contracts and their dealings with one another.
A key date for the code is Monday, June 1.
By 2 pm, processors must publish on their website standard form milk supply agreements to cover all the circumstances in which they intend to purchase milk in the coming financial year.
Under the code, anyone who buys milk directly from farmers — including co-operatives, retailers, brokers and other direct buyers — are defined as processors.
Some sections of the code, including the publishing requirement, will not apply to either a farmer or processor if a processor is a small business entity as defined by the code.
The ACCC has published guidance on code requirements around milk supply agreements (including minimum price and price step-downs), who is excluded from the code, how the code applies to co-operatives, dispute resolution, record keeping requirements, financial penalties and the ACCC’s role in enforcing the code.
For guidance on these topics, visit: https://www.accc.gov.au/business/industry-codes/dairy-code-of-conduct
Information on the June 1 publishing obligations is available at: https://www.accc.gov.au/business/industry-codes/dairy-code-of-conduct/publishing-obligations-under-the-dairy-code
To download the fact sheet, visit: https://www.accc.gov.au/publications/what-the-dairy-code-means-for-farmers-fact-sheet