Make it Cheaper can save you money on your electricity bill

Dear QDO Members

Running a business is hard work, and margins are often extremely tight, which is why we’ve partnered with Make it Cheaper to help you review your energy costs and see if you could be cutting your bills down.

Since our partnership began, Make it Cheaper has identified $150,000 in energy savings for QDO Members through 148 energy contracts, with the average member saving $1,500 per annum on their business account and $815 per annum on their personal account.

Obi Obi Dairy are saving approximately $16,500 on their energy bills.

How Much Could You Be Saving?

Attention young farmers! QDO want to hear from you!

Are you working on farm? QDO want to hear from you and get to know you better. Parents/dairy owners are encouraged to dob in their young farmers too.

QDO are chasing the contact details including email & mobile phone number of those currently not on our database.

QDO is committed to engaging with and supporting the next generation of dairy farmers in the state.

Contact Kerrie on 3236 2955 or

QDO’s submission ACCC interim report into dairy industry

Below is the summary of the QDO submission. The submission in its entirety can be viewed HERE.

The QDO strongly support the key ACCC findings that:

  • the dairy market does not work and must be fixed – it is a failed market
  • Industry structures, and price structures are inevitably different and higher in Queensland than other markets and this is not principally or significantly caused by inefficient farmers, industry structure or systems
  • the voluntary code of conduct insufficiently remedies market inefficiencies/failings and must be strengthened
  • a voluntary code insufficiently remedies market inefficiencies/failings and must be made mandatory.

However, we feel that even a strengthened and mandatory code is a weak and insufficient response to the current problems in Queensland, will not establish a functioning and efficient market, and more must be done.

The Dairy Inquiry Interim Report (the Interim Report) of the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) vindicates and supports what dairy farmers and Queensland Dairyfarmers’ Organisation (QDO) has said about the dairy market in Queensland:

  • The market doesn’t work – it is a failed market and must be fixed
  • Farmers have no negotiating power and prices and terms are dictated to them by processors – we say this is their easy and weak response to retailer pressure
  • Processor returns have been and continue to be massively reduced from $1/lire milk
  • Farmgate milk prices are inadequate and unsustainable
  • Merely increasing retail prices won’t fix the problem as increased profits to retailers and/or processors won’t be passed on to farmers, because the market is broken
  • Voluntary codes and other solutions have not worked and need to be strengthened and made mandatory.

There are several gaps in the Interim Report, and factual errors leading to wrong conclusions, but they don’t impair the key finding of market failure. While the Interim Report powerfully and in detail makes the case that the dairy market is a failed market, and highlights many of the problems in the industry previously identified in many other reports, it identifies insufficient solutions to solve the problem. The final report must have sufficiently broad recommendations that dairy farmers can be confident the failed market will be fixed – anything less guarantees future farm failures and guarantees continued campaigning for re-regulation.

Deregulation of the dairy industry has failed – the shallowness of the ACCC proposals in response are of enormous concern.  Those who advocate deregulation and the freeing of market forces (i.e. the Australian Government and its agencies, in this instance) have an unambiguous obligation to have a proper, effective, and thorough policy toolkit available to use to fix the problem, when deregulation fails.  The limited responses from ACCC – which will not resolve the problems of the dairy industry nor fix the market – expose an enormous gap in the readiness of Governments to fix their policy mistakes.  Sadly, that failure is killing the dairy farming sector in Queensland, but an appropriately strengthened final report from ACCC has the capacity to do much more.

The submission in its entirety can be viewed HERE.
See the ACCC interim report in the dairy industry HERE

Price dive ahead for 2018/19

Price dive ahead for 2018/19: spencer

Next season could see milk prices ‘significantly worsen’, according to dairy analyst Steve Spencer.  In the latest Global dairy directions report, he warns of 2018/19 average commodity milk values  ranging from  $4.30 to $4.50/kgms. The EU SMP glut, along with extra milk from the EU and US, will drive the price down, offset by lower production in Australia and weather-cramped NZ milk outputs. “You’d have to have been living under a large rock to be unaware of the risks that lie ahead for global dairy markets, and therefore Southern Australia’s milk prices,” he said.  EU milk production will top last year’s output by about 3-4% during the spring flush, seeing the EU Commission “keen to hold a clearance sale of SMP … at whatever price.” The flow-on for butterfat will see higher EU cheese production “at a time when the US is producing much more cheese than its consumers are demanding … Hence, cheese is the major risk for NZ and Australian milk values,” he said, adding. “Failure of the EU spring would be a gift, but weather outlooks show no red flags.”

Are you passionate about the dairy industry and want to help farmers?

Queensland Dairyfarmers’ Organisation (QDO) is looking for someone who is passionate about the dairy industry to fill its industry recovery officer position assisting Cyclone Debbie affected dairy farmers in the Scenic Rim, Lockyer Valley and the Darling Downs regions.

The position would suit sons or daughters of dairy farmers with university qualifications that have a rudimental understanding of the industry and on-farm processes. The position would also suit someone who has a passion for the dairy industry and who wants to learn more about financial, business and succession of dairy farmers. 

The QDO recovery & resilience industry development officer will:

  • Work closely farmers on a daily basis to get them involved in the project including very regular farm visits
  • Assist farmers access government and other assistance measures available
  • Provide natural disaster recovery advice and support
  • Organise workshops on succession and financial planning for dairy farmers with finance and business professionals presenting at workshops

It is a full-time positions with a 2 year contract. The remuneration package is negotiable commensurate with experience and suitability to the role.

To apply for this position, send a cover letter and resume to or fax: (07) 3236 2956. 


QDO is recruiting a Logo Development Officer

The Queensland Dairyfarmers’ Organisation (QDO) is the peak industry body representing the interests of and providing services to Queensland dairy farmers, with some 65% of Queensland dairy farmers being members.

The QDO is seeking to fill the position of QDO Logo Development Officer which aims to development a logo place on milk and other dairy products sold throughout Queensland. The QDO Logo Development Officer will report to the Executive Officer of QDO. This is an exciting opportunity for a person with drive and ambition to develop a logo that we aim to have on dairy products in every supermarket in Queensland.

The QDO milk logo policy officer will:

  • Examine the  process for developing a QDO milk logo
  • Determine market opportunities and business case by consulting with Queensland milk processors and consumers
  • Plan, implement and review a pilot QDO milk logo
  • Develop a plan to implement a state wide QDO milk logo

Candidates should demonstrate competency in:

  • Business development and marketing
  • Project / financial management and administration
  • Effective communication and relationship management skills
  • A driven person with a focus on achieving outcomes
  • Knowledge of the dairy or other agricultural industries preferred but not essential
  • Relevant tertiary qualifications.

This is a full-time position on a 2 year contract. The remuneration package is negotiable commensurate with experience and suitability to the role. You must be an Australian Citizen or have permanent residential status to be considered.

To apply for this position, forward your cover letter and resume to or fax (07) 3236 2956. 

QDO elect new look leadership team



The Queensland Dairyfarmers’ Organisation (QDO) has re-elected South Burnett farmer Brian Tessmann as President and Sunshine Coast Hinterland farmer Matthew Trace as Vice-President.

The newly appointed QDO board made its decision to continue under the steady leadership that Brian Tessmann has delivered since 2009, while bringing in a younger farmer that represents the industry’s next generation through Matthew Trace as Vice-President.

Brian thanked the board and QDO members for their continued support and said he was humbled to take on another term standing up for and furthering the interests of the state’s dairy farmers.

“It is no secret the Queensland dairy industry has been going through a hard time with the flow on affects from $1 litre milk, however with stable and proactive leadership the industry can and is overcoming these adversities,” said Mr. Tessmann.

“I want to commend outgoing Vice-President Ross McInnes for his years of service in the role and look forward to continuing working with him as he continues on the QDO council, servicing the interests of Queensland dairy farmers.

“On behalf of QDO members I want to congratulate Matthew Trace on his election as QDO Vice-President.

“Matthew will bring a much needed energy and perspective as a younger dairy farmer to the QDO leadership team.”

Matthew said he was humbled and excited to be appointed to the role and was looking forward to getting to work.

“Like all other dairy farmers my passion is to see our industry once again become and viable and profitable industry like it was in years gone by,” he said.

”For that to happen, the status quo can no longer remain.

“My commitment to members is to rattle the cage and get serious about how QDO and the industry as a whole can embrace change and make the most of opportunities to deliver the sustainable industry we all deserve.”

QDO election results for Scenic Rim/Lockyer Valley & Darling Downs districts

Brendan Hayden, QDO Darling Downs State Councillor 

Brendan Hayden, QDO Darling Downs State Councillor 

Ross McInnes, QDO Scenic Rim/Lockyer Valley State Councillor

Ross McInnes, QDO Scenic Rim/Lockyer Valley State Councillor

The counting of votes for Scenic Rim Lockyer Valley and the Darling Downs QDO elections has been undertaken and completed. We would like to congratulate Ross McInnes and Brendan Hayden on their winning Scenic Rim Lockyer Valley and Darling Downs districts respectively. Commiserations to John Saville and Gary Wenzel.

The 5 QDO Councillors commencing on 1 January 2018 will be Brian Tessmann (Central Queensland/Burnett), Matthew Trace (Gympie/ Moreton), James Geraghty (North Queensland), Brendan Hayden and Ross McInnes.

Thank you to all members who contributed to the process by voting and having input into your organisation’s future and direction.

Zischke brothers take out Norco Supreme Milk Quality Award 3rd year in a row

Zischke brother Left to right: Dallas, Gelen, Adrian & Melvyn

Zischke brother Left to right: Dallas, Gelen, Adrian & Melvyn

QDO members the Zischke brothers Melvyn, Dallas, Adrian and Glen from Haden on the Darling Downs have taken out the overall Norco supplier ‘Supreme Milk Quality Award’ for the third consecutive year.

The Zischke brothers came out on top of the over 220 farmers that supply Norco with an annual average bulk milk cell count (BMCC) of 56 and a standard plate count (SPC) of 2. The result is impressive when set against the Norco BMCC standard of 200.

So what do the brothers do to get it so right? Melvyn Zischke insisted that there was no particular golden touch, rather the high quality milk was a result of consistent and careful herd management.

The Zischke family have been dairying on the Haden property since 1974 and operate across three properties with a mixture of cropping that provides a consistent and viable supply of feed for the 120 cow dairy herd.

So, will the Zischke brothers make it four in a row? Only time will tell. One thing is for sure though, it will be hard to beat the boys from the Darling Downs who know a thing or two about producing high quality milk.

Next generation encouraged to apply for vacant QDO district positions

The next generation of QDO members are encouraged to nominate for vacant district council positions.

Currently QDO is seeking farmers to fill places in the following regions: North Queensland (1 position), Gympie/Moreton region (2 positions) and Central Queensland/Burnett (4 position). A big thank you to Grant Wieck (Darling Downs) and the Kay Tommerup (Scenic Rim/Lockyer Valley) how have been appointed to their local disctric councils.

The district council members they will work with other district councillors in their area to help set the direction of QDO. 

The positions will be filled on ‘first come first served’ basis. When these positions are filled no more nominations will be accepted. There will not be elections held for these roles.

Those interested are encouraged to contact Kerrie at the QDO office 3236 2955