What's On In The South Burnett Today?

Farmers Discuss Dairy Industry Changes

Filed under Breaking News, Latest News, Rural

QDO president Brian Tessmann with Mondure dairy farmer Col Farrer … Col is the QDO District Councillor for the Burnett and Northern Districts

February 28, 2020

The weather has been blamed for a disappointing turnout at a Queensland Dairy Organisation workshop held in Kingaroy this week.

QDO project officer Torie Harrison said the recent rain had presented an opportunity for farmers to do other work on their properties.

The dairy farmers who did come along to the South Burnett Enterprise Centre on Thursday heard an update on current issues and changes occurring in the industry.

These included the proposed merger of the QDO with a similar organisation in NSW and the Dairy Industry Code of Conduct, which came into force on January 1.

The structure of a new national body for the industry (known in the Joint Transition Team report as “NewCo B”) was also explained and discussed.

The ongoing issues of low milk prices and milk supply contracts were also a focus.

The Kingaroy workshop was one of a number planned by the QDO in dairy regions around Queensland.

A second workshop was held in Gympie on Friday.

QDO project officer Torie Harrison with Olivia Frahm, Proston; and Ashley Harrison, Kilcoy

Mondure dairy farmer Coral Farrer, Alan Trim; Windera; and Gary Tessmann, Coolbunia

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QDO Executive Officer Eric Danzi has encouraged farmers to report dairy contract issues and potential Dairy Code of Contact breaches to the QDO.

The new Code came into effect on January 1.

Some of the important changes include long-term contracts, notice periods and needing a contract to supply milk.

Contracts signed before January 1 do not have to comply with the Code. However, from January 1 next year all contracts must comply with the Code.

As a result, all long-term contracts which are set to expire after December 31, 2020, need to be renegotiated and made Code compliant.

Mr Danzi said farmers needed to be wary of processors trying to use the Code as a way of re-locking in existing suppliers on unfavourable terms.

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