Appointment of Mediation and Arbitration Adviser for the Dairy Industry Code
The Dairy Industry Code (the Code) is a mandatory industry code under section 51AE of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (CCA).
Under the Code, a milk supply agreement must provide for both an internal complaint handling procedure and a mediation process. The Code also provides both processors and farmers with a right to seek to resolve a dispute via mediation using the process set out in the Code.
The Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry has appointed the Deputy Secretary with responsibility for industry codes at the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry as mediation advisor and arbitration adviser under the Code. For more information about dispute resolution under the Code, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman (ASBFEO) can also assist in the resolution of disputes. Visit the ASBFEO website, email email@example.com or call 1300 650 460.
The Code is enforced by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC). For more information on enforcement, please refer to the ACCC website.
Dairy Industry Code
The Dairy Industry Code came into effect on 1 January 2020.
The Code provides a fairer process for negotiating contractual arrangements between dairy farmers and dairy processors. It improves the balance in bargaining power between dairy farmers and processors. The Code also includes dispute resolution and mediation processes.
The Code is a result of extensive stakeholder consultation with dairy farmers and processors.
Information to help dairy farmers and processors understand the Code and implement its requirements is available on the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission website.
The Australian Government, through the ACCC, regulates the dairy supply chain through a combination of the Dairy Industry Code and the Food and Grocery Code of Conduct which covers the relationship between dairy processors and retailers.
Review of the Dairy Industry Code
A review of the Dairy Industry Code was completed in 2021. The review was conducted by the department with the support of the Dairy Industry Code Review Reference Group. The Group represented the eight dairy regions and included key processor representatives.
The review found the Dairy Industry Code is providing a crucial framework for the dairy industry and is operating as intended. Whilst stakeholders were highly supportive of the Code, areas for improvement were identified. The report made three recommendations to improve the operation of the Dairy Industry Code.
The Australian Government response to the first review of the Dairy Industry Code is available below.
A second review of the Code is currently scheduled to occur on or after 1 January 2023.
Download the review report for the Dairy Industry Code and the Australian Government response
Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, March 2022
If you have difficulty accessing these files, visit web accessibility for assistance.
Compliance and dispute resolution
For concerns related to compliance with the Code:
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) is responsible for enforcement of the Code and investigates alleged breaches. For more information about the Code please visit the ACCC website.
If you have concerns about a potential breach of the Code or want to make contact with the ACCC, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1300 302 021.
For concerns related to the performance of your agreement:
The Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman (ASBFEO) can provide information on options to resolve disputes with access to mediation and/or arbitration services. For more information about the services the ASBFEO provides to dairy businesses visit the ASBFEO website.
If you would like advice on dispute resolution processes or an issue with the performance of your agreement, email email@example.com or call 1300 650 460.
Information to help dairy farmers and processors understand the code and implement its requirements is available on the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission website.