QDO thank consumers for supporting farmers on World Milk Day

Queensland Dairyfarmers’ Organisation (QDO) is encouraging everyone to raise a glass of milk to celebrate our milk and our farmers on World Milk day, 1 June 2017.

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation has declared 1 June as World Milk Day since 2001, and we’re using the occasion to celebrate the Queensland farmers who work hard to produce delicious, nutritious milk.

QDO President Brian Tessmann thanked Queensland consumers for supporting our farmers by buying locally sourced branded milk all year round.

“Our dairy farmers work hard 7 days a week, 365 days a year to create fresh, great tasting and wholesome fresh milk that Queenslanders consumed every day.”

“Dairy farmers in Queensland have been to date been heartened by how the public has rallied around local milk producers by doing what they can do best, choosing with their wallets.”

“It is important that the community are aware that their choices at the checkout are making a difference to supporting the brands that support us.”

“We encourage everyone to keep buying branded to support farmers from every producer as this the best way to ensure our farmers get a fair price for their product.”

“Buying fresh branded milk is currently the best way a consumer can help deliver a fair price back to Queensland dairy farmers. The extra dollars you spend on branded milk is invested into the quality improvements of milk products.”

“On behalf of all Queensland dairy farmers, QDO says ‘thank you’ for buying branded milk and supporting our industry.”

“QDO will continue its campaign to break the $1/L milk price glass ceiling by working with the government and the major retailers to get a fairer deal for our farmers.”

Fair Milk Price Logo will empower Queensland consumers

Queensland milk consumers are set to receive the transparency and clarity they have been calling out for if the ‘Fair Milk Price logo’ laws pass parliament.

The Queensland Dairyfarmers’ Organisation (QDO) has today publically reiterated its support a voluntary ‘Fair Milk Price Logo’ that will help inform consumers at the checkout on which Queensland milk products directly support the state’s dairy farmers.

QDO make this position known when it presented at the Queensland Agriculture and Environment Committee’s hearing into the Sustainable Queensland Dairy Production (Fair Milk Price logo) Bill 2016 at Parliament House.

The hearing heard from local government, QDO, the Australian Competition Consumer Commission (ACCC) and the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF).

QDO President Brian Tessmann said that the ‘Fair Milk Price Logo’ will go a long way in helping consumers distinguish between Queensland milk was produced at an ‘ethical’ and ‘fair’ price.

“People are continually asking what milk they should buy to support our local dairy farmers; while QDO encourages them to ‘buy branded milk’, many want a clearer indicator right there on the bottle.”

“The recent ‘I Buy Branded Milk’ campaign run by QDO was a success and shows consumers are willing to support Queensland dairy farmers and this Bill supports this public change.”

“At today’s hearing, the ACCC clarified its principled support for efforts that increase consumer’s access to information that provides transparency when making purchasing decisions. The Fair Milk Price Logo does exactly that.”

“I’m calling on consumers, farmers and supporters of Queensland’s dairy industry to contact your local Member of Parliament and let them know how important this issue is to you and the state.”

“If Queenslanders want to continue to enjoy local milk it is essential that we create a way that allows consumers to throw their market power behind sustaining the state’s farmers.”

Since $1milk in 2011 more than $200 million dollars a year has been stripped out of our dairy supply chain resulting in more than 180 dairy farmers have left the Queensland industry.

Major retailers undervaluing milk we have seen many Queensland dairy farmers leave in the industry as it no longer become profitable.

Contact your local MP HERE.

Dairy farmers urged to have their say at ACCC Toowoomba forum

Queensland dairy farmers are being urged to attend the upcoming Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) Dairy Inquiry public forum being held in Toowoomba, 6 February 2017.

ACCC Chairman Rod Sims and Agricultural Commissioner Mick Keogh will be attending the Toowoomba meeting to hear directly from farmers. The meeting will be the first of 8 public consultations being held in dairy regions throughout the country. 

Queensland Dairyfarmers’ Organisation (QDO) President Brian Tessmann said it was essential that farmers who wanted to see change to the current market power imbalance in the Queensland attend and have their say in the ACCC Dairy Inquiry.

“Agriculture Commissioner Mick Keogh has promised that this dairy inquiry would ‘have teeth’ and deliver upon industry and community expectations. Queensland dairy farmers intend on making sure the ACCC has the information they need deliver upon this promise.”

“The Queensland dairy industry has experienced firsthand the effects of market manipulation power imbalances since the introduction of $1L milk in 2011.”

“Because the Queensland dairy industry is entirely a fresh milk market, we have borne the brunt of the major retailers deciding to sell our product a cost lower than production.”

“The effect of $1L milk has impacted the entire dairy supply chain with over 180 farmers leaving the industry since 2011.

“The status quo cannot be allowed to continue. The only what we can change it is by getting out and having our voice heard.”

“It’s clear that $1L milk is unsustainable if we want to continue to have milk produced locally here in Queensland. The last time milk was priced at $1L was in 1992 and since then Queensland farm gate prices have only gone up 20%.”

“QDO members and state councilors will be at the meeting in Toowoomba prosecuting the case for change and we encourage all dairy farmers to join us.”

“QDO will continue its campaign to improve market power between processors, retailers and farmers and restore market fairness to the Queensland dairy industry.”

The ACCC Dairy Inquiry forum will be held on 11.30am 6 February 2017, Toowoomba City Golf Club, 254 South St, Toowoomba.

ENDS

Queensland dairy farmers welcome the introduction of the effects test

Queensland Dairyfarmers’ Organisation (QDO) has today joined Australian Dairy Farmers (ADF) in welcoming the introduction of the s46 ‘effects test’ legislation 2016 into the Federal Parliament.

QDO has advocated strongly for the change since 2011, following Coles starting the supermarket Milk Price War which has seen many farmers forced out of our industry. 

QDO President, Brian Tessmann said the new provision will address the current unequal distribution of market power and encourage transparency to the benefit of producers, consumers and retailers.

“QDO has been very vocal in its support for the introduction of the ‘effects test’ as it is another tool to help provide integrity and transparency and deliver direct benefits to our Queensland members.”

“The effects test will benefit not only Queensland dairy farmers, but the entire small business sector is resolving issues around predatory pricing.”

“The ‘effects test’ is an essential component in the joint efforts towards restoring market fairness in the Queensland dairy industry.”

QDO thanked the Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister, the Treasurer, the Minister for Small Business for their support and action on this important reform and delivering up on their election commitment to introduce the Bill.

The introduction of an effects test is in line with competition policy around the world – Australia has joined the clear majority of developed nations who already have established effects tests.

Fair milk price ‘logos’ bill throws lifeline to dairy farmers

A strengthening consumer campaign to support struggling dairy farmers is being met with a bill to legislate for fair milk price ‘logos’ identifying which milk returns a fair price to dairy farmers.

Member for Dalrymple Shane Knuth, with the support of Queensland Dairyfarmers’ Organisation (QDO), will table the Sustainable Queensland Dairy Production (Fair Milk Price Logos) Bill 2016 today.

The Bill aims to introduce voluntary region-specific logos to be placed on milk containers, giving consumers confidence the dairy farmer who produced that milk received a fair price.

As production costs vary across Queensland, the Bill identifies three dairy regions – north Queensland, central Queensland and south-east Queensland.

To set the sustainable gross margin for each region, the relevant minister must consult with industry and use report data from the State Government’s Queensland Dairy Accounting Scheme (QDAS).

“This will make it very simple for the consumer – they can walk into the shop and immediately see which fresh milk produced in which region is fairly priced by looking for the logo,” Mr Knuth said.

He said consumers were prepared to pay extra to support their local dairy farmers, exemplified by a recent surge in branded milk sales after a public backlash to a farmgate price cut from processor Murray Goulburn.

“This show of support coupled with the ongoing sustainable farmgate prices this Bill will establish will benefit the consumer and the farmer – it’s a win-win situation,” he said.

“The legislation is directly giving consumers more control and transparency and throwing dairy farmers a lifeline.”

The Bill provides for the setting of a minimum price to be paid to dairy farmers for the production of milk carrying a logo, which is a voluntary market mechanism processors can choose to incorporate into existing milk labels. 

The legislation establishes the eligibility criteria and legal protection for logos and introduces offences for particular conduct to protect the logo integrity.

However, producers and processors would not be penalised if they chose to not adopt the logo.

Mr Knuth stressed that the Bill did not enable regulation of the Queensland dairy industry.

“It is in line with national competition policies enacted through the Federal Competition and Consumer Act 2010 and it does not force anyone in the supply chain to use the logo,” he said.

Queensland Dairyfarmers’ Organisation president Brian Tessmann commended Shane Knuth and the Katter’s Australian Party for supporting Queensland dairy farmers with the Bill. 

“Any legislation that empowers consumers to make an informed fair choice at the supermarket is a good for our farmers,” he said.

“Through the recent ‘I Buy Branded Milk’ campaign, we have seen that consumers want to support Queensland dairy farmers and this Bill supports this public change.”

Mr Tessmann said consumers deserved to know whether their milk was sustainably sourced and whether it would support their local dairy farmers.

Market pressures, unsustainable returns, natural disasters and the $1-a-litre milk supermarket price wars have slashed the number of Queensland dairy farmers from about 1,500 to just 430 in 15 years.

In 2013, the KAP introduced the Fair Milk Mark Bill, which was voted against by both major parties. 

In the following year from 2014-15, Queensland milk production dropped six per cent due to lower milk prices, higher cost of production and poor weather conditions.  

“Given the rapid rate of farmers leaving the industry, we can’t afford to waste another three years doing nothing; imagine how many more farmers and processing plants we will have lost by then,” Mr Knuth said.

“We need to show our dairy farmers the spirit of mateship that Queensland is so famous for,” he said. 

“This Bill sets a national precedent, with Queensland spearheading a policy platform for a sustainable Australian dairy industry.”

Queensland Dairyfarmers’ Organisation is the peak advocacy organisation representing the interests of dairy farmers across Queensland.

ENDS

QDO thank processors and consumers for backing dairy farmers

The announcement by milk processors Norco and Lion (Dairy Farmers brand) not to lower their farmgate price paid to farmers in Queensland despite price reductions by other processors in southern states is a vote of confidence in the Queensland dairy industry and has been welcomed by the Queensland Dairyfarmers’ Organisation (QDO).

Parmalat’s (Pauls brand) current price is set in place until December, and their suppliers will receive notification in the coming months for milk payments from January 2017.

QDO Vice President Ross Mc Innes welcomed the announcement by thanking Lion, Norco, and consumers who had overwhelmingly supported dairy farmers by buying branded milk.

 “The campaign encouraging consumers to boycott the $1/L milk and buy branded milk has so far been overwhelmingly successful, but it is by no means over.”

“Dairy farmers in Queensland have been heartened that the public has rallied around local milk producers by doing what they can do best, choosing with their wallets.”

“It is important that the community are aware that their choices at the checkout are making a difference and the announcement by Norco and Lion is proof of that.”

“We encourage everyone to keep buying branded to support farmers from every producer as this the best way to ensure our farmers get a fair price for their product.”

“Given the recent uncertainty and turbulence in the national dairy industry, QDO thank all processors for their continued support of Queensland dairy farmers.”

“Norco and Lion’s decision not to reduce farmgate prices in Queensland is a vote of long term confidence in the local industry and shows their ongoing commitment to dairy in this state.”

“On behalf of all Queensland dairy farmers, QDO says ‘thank you’.”

“QDO will continue its campaign to break the $1/L milk price glass ceiling by working with the government and the major retailers to get a fairer deal for our farmers.”

Queensland no longer BJD free

The Agriculture and Fisheries Minister Leanne Donaldson has announced that as of 1 July 2016, the Queensland Government will no longer regulate livestock entry into Queensland or quarantine properties infected with Bovine Johne’s disease (BJD).

Queensland Dairyfarmers’ Organisation (QDO) President Brian Tessmann acknowledged that whist the decision was not what QDO and its members had advocated for, the dairy industry was prepared to work constructively with the Government to see a sensible transition under the new regulations.

“The Queensland dairy industry has held a position for decades to maintain its very low prevalence and freedom from BJD and we hope that this was not all in vain with the lifting of the protections.”

“A recent survey of the QDO membership determined that an overwhelming majority of our dairy farmer members were against the removal of BJD protections.”

“QDO has, and will continue to represent our member’s positions by consulting and engaging with the state government for a sensible biosecurity outcome.”

“It is disappointing that industry was not been given access to the regulations earlier to allow our members to better prepare for the framework change.”

“While the Government looks to a “shared responsibility” with industry, the stark reality will be a transference of responsibility and liability to the individual producer.”

“QDO welcomes the announcement of a surveillance program as part of the new $10.8 million funding for Biosecurity, and will seek urgent talks to target priority areas for dairy”

“It is now essential that all Queensland dairy farmers take all necessary precautions to check movement histories when trading cattle to minimise the impact of Johne’s disease on their property.”

Guidelines for safely purchasing livestock and making Johne’s disease risk-based decisions are available at www.biosecurity.qld.gov.au.

Nothing ‘Legendairy’ about misleading Dairy Australia report

The Dairy Situation and Outlook report released today by Dairy Australia fails to disclose the truth about the impacts of the supermarket Milk Price War on dairy farmers.

Queensland Dairyfarmers’ Organisation (QDO) President Brian Tessmann noted that the report had not reported the full reality of the impacts of the Milk Price War on the dairy market in Queensland and Australia.

“The report presents the total value of milk sales increasing since the Milk Price War started in 2011, but fails to accurately disclose the more than $200 million per annum in losses sustained by branded sales to supermarket private label fresh white milk leading to less money in dairy farmers pockets.”

“The figures presented by Dairy Australia report cover all milk sales including flavoured milk which disguises the impact in the fresh white milk category where the Milk Price War is occurring.”

“The analysis also didn’t take account of discounting forced on the route trade.”

“If flavoured milk was excluded and a representative trade route milk price was used, there would be a substantial fall in the value of fresh white milk sales in the last 5 years, particularly in the modified fresh milk category where supermarkets made the biggest cuts.”

“This fall in the per unit value of fresh white milk sales since 2010 is clear.”

“It’s time for Dairy Australia disclose the full impact of the Milk Price War.”

“It’s clear that $1 per litre milk is unsustainable. The last time milk was priced at $1 per litre was in 1992 and since then Queensland farm gate prices have only gone up 20%.”

The Milk Price War was started by Coles on Australia Day 2011 when they dropped their home brand milk by as much as 33% to $1 per litre, resulting in other major retailers following suit.

“Since 2011 more than 170 dairy farmers have left the Queensland industry when we have been short of fresh milk and should not have lost any. This equates to a loss of some 170 million litres of milk production per annum and some $550 million in milk production investment and more than 580 on farm jobs. Queensland will import some 180 million litre this year from interstate to meet the needs of Queensland consumers. This should not be happening,” said Mr. Tessmann.

“The best way to support local Queensland dairy farmers is to buy branded milk and dairy products as it adds value to the product and ensures our farmers are paid the fair price at the farm gate they deserve.”

QCA determination will drive up dairy electricity costs

The Queensland Competition Authority (QCA) electricity price determination will drive the average Queensland dairy farm electricity costs up by around $4,000 per farm.
 
The Queensland Dairyfarmers’ Organisation (QDO) president Brian Tessmann has slammed the QCA price determination as ill-conceived and an unintentional effort to price dairy farmers out of their industry.
 
“The average Queensland dairy farm produces around 950,000L of milk a year, so this electricity increase of almost an extra 0.5c/L of milk in production costs, for no additional benefit.”
 
“This increase will unlikely be absorbed by retailers at the checkout as the supermarkets have not increased the milk price since the $1/L milk drop in 2011.”
 
“This is yet another costs farmers will have to absorb.”
 
“Consecutive double digit price increases over 10 years proves that the system is broken and it needs fixing urgently.”
 
“QDO is calling on all the government to step up to the challenge and overhaul the electricity pricing system that is threatening the viability of the Queensland dairy industry. Otherwise, it’s time to fund a dairy project designed assist our farmers reduce electricity use.”
 
“Dairy farmers are now considering leaving the grid entirely as it no longer makes economic sense to continue paying these exorbitant electricity prices.”

Dairy farmers to rally at Parliament House for better deal

Queensland dairy farmers and their supporters will rally outside Queensland parliament house tomorrow to call on retailers to put an end to the $1milk price war and to set a sustainable price for fresh milk that provides a sustainable return to dairy farming families right across the nation.

The rally has been organised by grassroots dairy farmers and Queensland Dairyfarmers’ Organisation (QDO) will be attending to support the event in principle.

QDO President Brian Tessmann stated that the event had been organised in conjunction with other rallies being held at parliament houses throughout the country and was generated through a call for action through social media.

“QDO and its members have been frustrated about the poor treatment they have been receiving from the major retailers since the start of the $1milk price war in 2011.”

“There has been an overwhelming level of community support and interest since the industry’s woes were again made public for all to see in the last month.”

“QDO has been encouraging consumers to buy branded milk since 2011 so it is heartening to see that the message is again circulating and getting traction with consumers.”

“Since Coles started $1milk in 2011 more than $200 million dollars a year has been stripped out of our dairy supply chain and the already small margins for dairy farmers were slashed. With all major retailers undervaluing milk we have seen many Queensland dairy farmers leave in the industry as it no longer become profitable for them to continue.”

“Since 2011 more than 170 dairy farmers have left the Queensland industry when we have been short of fresh milk and should not have lost any. This equates to a loss of some 170 million litres of milk production per annum and some $550 million in milk production investment and more than 580 on farm jobs. Queensland will import some 180 million litre this year from interstate to meet the needs of Queensland consumers. This should not be happening.”

Consumers need to value local high quality fresh milk as if they don’t it will not be there in the future and consumers will be left with inferior options and paying more for it.

“The best way for Queenslanders to support local Queensland dairy farmers is to buy branded milk and dairy products as it adds value to the product and ensures our farmers are paid the fair price at the farm gate they deserve.”

“So just don’t buy cheap milk sold by the major supermarkets for $1 per litre.”
QDO in principle supports any campaign that delivers a better outcome for our dairy farmers in the regions as it is good for the industry and the communities they are a part of.

Rally details: Wednesday 25th May 12.30pm, Cnr George & Alice Streets

QDO appoints new Executive Officer

QDO EXECUTIVE OFFICER ERIC DANZI & QDO PRESIDENT BRIAN TESSMANN

QDO EXECUTIVE OFFICER ERIC DANZI & QDO PRESIDENT BRIAN TESSMANN

The Queensland Dairyfarmers’ Organisation has announced the appointment of their new Executive Officer, Eric Danzi, who will take over the reins of the organisation this month.

Mr Danzi comes to the QDO role after completing 5 years as a senior project manager at Ausenco and 12 years prior at CANEGROWERS as manager for Planning and Water. He will bring a combined 20 years of experience in agricultural and project management within Queensland, nationally and internationally that will serve him well in his role with QDO and our industry.

QDO President Brian Tessmann stated, “Eric is a highly motivated and passionate advocate, with a strong agricultural and management background. I look forward to working with him, continuing to build on QDO’s work as the collective voice for dairy farmers in Queensland.”

“Eric is an exceptional leader, who understands the challenges facing advocacy organisations in meeting the needs of members in a dynamic political and economic climate.”

“While the Queensland dairy industry faces its fair share challenges, QDO are confident that moving forward it will be able to continue offering effective advocacy and representation to governments and the community.” 

Mr Danzi stated; “I am looking forward to continuing the good work at QDO and ensuring our members continue to get the service and representation they need and deserve.”

Mr Tessmann also thanked departing Executive Officer Adrian Peake for his dedicated service to the organisation and the dairy industry through some of the toughest times in our industry’s history.

“On behalf of the QDO members and our dairy industry I thank Mr Peake for his commitment and dedication to the role, the QDO and industry over the last 14 years, that leaves QDO with a long list of achievements and in a strong autonomous position going forward.”

The Queensland Dairyfarmers’ Organisation is the peak advocacy organisation representing the interests of and providing services to dairy farmers across Queensland.

QDO & ADF applaud the introduction of an ‘Effects Test'

Alliance of Industry Associations for change to s46

Alliance of Industry Associations for change to s46

Queensland Dairyfarmers Organisation (QDO) along with Australian Dairy Farmers (ADF) have applauded the introduction of an ‘effects test’ by the Federal Government, which will strengthen competition across the grocery supply chain.

QDO & ADF have advocated strongly for the change since 2011, following Coles starting the supermarket Milk Price War which has seen many farmers forced out of our industry. The provision, which will be included in section 46 of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010, will address the current unequal distribution of market power and encourage transparency to the benefit of producers, consumers and retailers.

The commitment by the Federal Coalition Government came only two weeks after QDO and ADF, in partnership with the Alliance of Industry Associations for change to s46, visited Canberra to meet with Treasurer Scott Morrison, Minister for Small Business Kelly O’Dwyer and Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce.

QDO President, Brian Tessmann said the new provision will prevent firms with substantial market power from engaging in conduct that has the purpose, effect or likely effect of substantially lessening competition.

“The effects test is another tool to help provide integrity and transparency regarding the impact of retailer actions on suppliers,”

“QDO has been very vocal its support for the introduction of the ‘effects test’ as it will deliver direct benefit to our Queensland members.”

ADF President Simone Jolliffe stated that in conjunction with the government’s introduction of the Food and Grocery Code, which included a large number of our recommendations, this is a constructive step toward fostering a more competitive business environment.”

“Further, the appointment of Mick Keogh as the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s first Agricultural Commissioner and an Agricultural Engagement and Enforcement Unit, highlights that the government is committed to fostering competition across the supply chain.” In addition the Government has agreed to strengthen Unfair Contract Protection Laws which will assist small business and are set to take affect later this year.

Mrs Jolliffe said the reforms will support consumers’ interests as well as dairy farmers.

“Moving toward a more objective measure to assess the impact of anti-competitive behaviour will build a more open and transparent marketplace,” said Mrs Jolliffe.

QDO and ADF are keen to see this new clause applied as a matter of urgency to see damaging practices, including predatory pricing outlawed.

QDO and ADF thanked the Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister, the Treasurer, the Minister for Small Business and the National Party including Senator Matt Canavan for their strong support and action on this important reform.