A retail price of $1 per litre for drinking milk has contributed to financial pressure on New South Wales dairy farmers, was one of the findings in a parliamentary report into the sustainability of the dairy industry in New South Wales.
The state of the dairy industry has been undergoing an inquiry by a NSW Parliamentary committee which released its finding on December 13, after holding numerous community consultations around the State in November 2018.
Topping the list of findings, was the effect of $1 retail price of milk on the industry which has been welcomed by NSW Farmers’ Association.
“Dairy farmers have long known the negative impact that $1/litre milk has had on our businesses, and this has now been officially recognised,” NSW Farmers Dairy chair Erika Chesworth said.
“This finding is vindication for all dairy farmers that had their concerns dismissed by the ACCC inquiry.”
Another finding has outlined that the current farmgate price for raw milk is “inadequate to cover farmer’s cost of production and allow for a reasonable profit margin.”
It’s also highlights the power imbalance between NSW dairy farmers and processors
“For the dairy industry to be sustainable, we need farmers to be paid a fair milk price to build resilient businesses that can survive through periods of drought and other hardships,” Ms Chesworth said.
Following the four findings, the report makes 10 recommendations for the NSW Government to act upon immediately.
The report also recommends that the Mandatory Code of Conduct should be implemented as a matter of urgency and that the NSW Government should urgently and actively pursue “further measures that facilitate the ability of dairy farmers to collectively bargain with processors for their milk supply.”
During November 2018, the Federal Government held community consultations around the country with dairy farmers in relation to the Australian Consumer and Competition Commission’s (ACCC) recommendation to implement one after its inquiry into the industry.
The next step in the inquiry is for the Government to respond to the report by February 28, 2019.
To view the final report visit, https://www.parliament.nsw.gov.au/committees/inquiries/Pages/inquiry-details.aspx?pk=2514#tab-reportsandgovernmentresponses
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