Australian Dairy Farmers (ADF) welcomes the recognition that dairy farmers are doing it tough, with sustained high input costs and flat farmgate returns leading to increasing numbers of farmers exiting the industry.

ADF does not have policy to support re-regulation of the Australian dairy industry.

We have supported the Mandatory Code of Conduct to deliver more transparent contractual arrangements and we look forward to reviewing the Government’s draft code, which we expect will be released shortly for comment.

The industry supported de-regulation nearly 20 years ago.

The federal Government initiated the Dairy Structural Adjustment Program, which provided $1.63 billion in payments to farmers, and the Supplementary Dairy Assistance Package, which provided a further $120 million to farmers, to make the transition to a deregulated environment.

We will continue to work with our state member organisations, the Government and Opposition, Senator Pauline Hanson as well as other representatives in Canberra to ensure that all suitable action be taken to secure the sustainability of dairy farmers.

Sustainable pricing through the supply chain is paramount and we will continue, in concert with our members and the Government, to identify the most suitable actions that support dairy farmers. 

Clearly this is an extremely complex policy discussion, particularly given our export exposure. However, it is important to note that the dairy the industry is at a critical point and these issues must be addressed.