Free farm biosecurity workshops for QDO members

By QDO Executive Officer, Eric Danzi

It is with great pleasure that I announce the first series of biosecurity planning workshops will be held on 8 and 9 August in:

I will run the workshops alongside QDAF staff members Lawrence Gavey (Johnes disease expert) and Malcolm Macleod (ticks expert).  QDO is very fortunate to be delivering the workshops in partnership with QDAF, and would like to thank Lawrence and Malcolm specifically for their help.

During the workshops, farmers will develop a biosecurity plan tailored to their farm and specific circumstances. These plans will then be signed off and farmers will have a procedure to deliver animals to the meat works from 1 October 2017 and to maintain their johnes disease free status. Most importantly, the workshops will provide direction to each farmer on the main activities they need to undertake to manage biosecurity risks on their farm.

After the workshop, farmers will be given the option of having a free Johnes slurry test undertaken on their farm if they wish. QDAF staff will collect the samples and undertake the tests at a suitable time with each farmer. More biosecurity planning workshops will be held in other locations throughout the state before October 2017 so please look out for further information.

The workshops are for QDO members only so please do not miss this opportunity. Free meals will be provided at all workshops.  RSVP to Kerrie at QDO by emailing or calling 3236 2955.

Space is limited so please get in quick! I look forward to seeing you there.

Eric Danzi

New QDO constitution to be tabled at AGM

By Eric Danzi, QDO Executive Officer

As has been flagged with members on numerous occasions, Queensland Dairyfarmers’ Organisation (QDO) has reviewed its organisational structure. QDO has recommended to members that the number of State Council be reduced from 8 to 5 as well as shortening Councillor’s existing term length so the new term can commence on 1 January 2018. As a result the QDO elections will start in September 2017 after the new constitution is passed by members at the AGM. These changes have received overwhelming support by members.

As a result of these proposed changes, QDO has review and submitted amendments to its constitution which dates back to 2003. QDO has sought the advice of a governance and constitution expert to ensure that the proposed constitution reflects current governance standards. In addition to the changes mentioned above, several obsolete items have been removed from the constitution including QDO branches which have not operated in most districts for over a decade and the objects of the company have been updated. Several items have been added to reflect current governance standards which include the setting of director fees, dispute resolution and limiting liability of members to $1.

I encourage all members to attend the AGM on 29 August at the Toowoomba City Golf Club to get a better understanding of all the changes in the new constitution and have your say. I look forward to seeing you there.

Parmalat: Notification of price rise 10 July 2017

The following is a transcript of a letter sent from Parmalat to retailers and forwarded to QDO

The Australia dairy industry has endured a difficult year being negatively impacted by a range of issues including floods, heat waves, depressed commodity prices and reduced farm gate pricing implemented by a number of other processors in the market.

As a result the available milk pool across Southern Australia has shrunk with the latest estimated indicating a reduction of 8—9% nationally or 800-900 million litres in the 2016/17 season. At the same time globally, the underlying value of fat in every litre has been increasing for some four years and butter in particular is trading at global highs.

Additionally this milk pool reduction will see a significant increase in the southern region raw milk price for the 2017/18 season. Furthermore we have seen an increase in many input costs, including electricity +18%. Gas 16% and ingredients on average between 5-8%. As a result of these increases we now find it necessary t advise of an impending price increase across our portfolio.

As a responsible business partner we acknowledge and accept our role in managing these cost increases effectively through our own efficiencies. Therefore we will not be passing on the full extent of these input cost increases. We will also continue to invest in our brands for mutual growth.

Over the coming weeks a Parmalat representative will be in touch to discuss the details of these pricing changes, which will take effect from Monday 10 July 2017. Please feel free to discuss any questions you may have during these calls or alternatively you may contact the Parmalat Resolve Team on 1800 000 257.

Parmalat would like to thank you for your continued support and we look forward to working with you in 2017 and beyond.


May dairy exports down 3%

As reported in Dairy Australia's Dairyweb News - July 10

Australia’s dairy exports year-to-date (YTD) May 2017 decreased 3.1% in volume and 0.6% in value, compared to May 2016 YTD.

Other dairy products, WMP, whey products, cheddar cheese and milk reported increases in volumes exported YTD May 2017, increasing 16.4%, 11%, 5%, 4.5% and 4.1% respectively, compared to year-to-date May 2016. Butter volumes fell -29.8% and SMP decreased 20.7%. In values, WMP rose 11.6%, whey 13.5% and other dairy products were 13.2% higher. Value falls were recorded for butter (-22.8%), butter oil (-39.2%) and SMP (-17.7%).

ADF Announces Mr David Inall as the Australian Dairy Farmers (ADF) Chief Executive Officer (CEO)

David Inall

David Inall

Australian Dairy Farmers (ADF) Media Release - 4th July 2017

We are very pleased to announce Mr David Inall as the Australian Dairy Farmers (ADF) Chief Executive Officer (CEO). He joined the ADF team on Monday 3rd July.

With a strong background working with industry and government on strategic policy matters, including animal welfare and sustainability, Mr Inall comes into the role after four years as the Senior Vice-President of United Egg Producers based in Atlanta, Georgia, United States.

Having commenced his policy career with the NSW Dairy Farmers' Association, Mr Inall has also held the position of Chief Executive Officer with the Cattle Council of Australia (Canberra), and Livestock Export Manager (Asia & Australia) for Meat & Livestock Australia/Livecorp (Sydney).

Mr Inall has a Bachelor in agricultural science from the University of Western Sydney and is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Mr John McQueen, who took on the role as a short-term replacement, is available until Friday 7th July.

Mr McQueen started his career in 1982 as the Executive Officer of the Australian Dairy Herd Improvement Scheme, with the responsibility to set up and operate the first national genetic evaluation system for the Australian dairy industry.

When Mr McQueen returned in 2016 as the interim CEO, he has again been actively instrumental as ADHIS moves to its next phase as part of DataGene. He was also played a key role in the development of the first dairy industry Code of Practice for contractual arrangements.

We would like to thank Mr McQueen for his hard work and dedication to ADF as we welcome Mr Inall to the role as CEO.

QDO State Coucillors Brendan Hayden & John Saville appear on 7 News Toowoomba


Dairy farmers fear a new code of practice to stop unfair treatment from processors is too little too late. The code is designed to help them fight for fair milk prices but it is not compulsory for companies to sign it. Brendan Hayden, dairy farmer, is losing faith in the Qld dairy industry.

He is currently battling Parmalat, who temporarily cut off contracts with all suppliers in January. He says suppliers are missing out on a contract incentive. He says the industry needs a big overhaul. He says until it is legislated, it is not worth the paper it is written on. John Saville, Qld Dairy Organisation, says it is still a positive step. The QDO says it will help farmers during disputes and make sure they get loyalty payments.

Obi Obi Dairy saves $16,500pa with Make it Cheaper (MIC)

Thank you QDO for encouraging us to save money for our farm. Putting us in contact with Make-It-Cheaper (MIC) has been such a great suggestion resulting in savings of $16500 pa to our farm.

MIC gave us a quick and easy process to review our farm electricity bills and within a short time provided a number of options which they took the time to explain. There is no pressure to change, but when we saw how much we could save and how easy it was going to be, it was very clear it was a benefit to us.

Sara and Markus Bucher – Obi Obi Dairy

Contact QDO on 3236 2955 for more information on how you can save too. 

Award Review - Casual & part-time employment

Article by Primary Employers Queensland

A Full Bench of the Fair Work Commission on 5 July 2017 handed down its Decision in the Casual Employment and Part-time Employment part of the 4 Yearly Review of Modern Awards.

A summary of the determination of the claims (as they affect the Pastoral award 2010 (PA) and the Horticulture Award 2010) (HA) dealt with is set out below.

Minimum Period of Engagement - Unions had claimed a minimum period of 4 hours per engagement for casual and part-time employees.

This claim has been rejected insofar as it affects the provisions of all Awards.  The 3 hour minimum provisions for part-time and casual employees under the PA will continue to operate.  The Commission has indicated it would be inclined to grant a 2 hour minimum engagement for those which do not currently provide for same, e.g., the HA.   Further submissions have been called for.

Dairy Industry Minimum Engagement - The NFF had sought to reduce the 3 hour minimum engagement periods for part-time and casual employees involved in milking to 2 hours.

This claim was rejected, however, the Commission proposed a provision prescribing a 2 hour minimum provision to apply only to junior employees who are school students.  The NFF is to prepared a draft clause.
Horticulture Award Hours and Overtime- The claim for clarification of the hours and overtime provisions has resulted in the Commission provisionally stating that the ordinary hours of work may be 304 hours averaged over an 8 week period (currently 152 hours over a 4 week period).   Further submissions have been called for.
Conversion of Casual Employment - Union claims were for casuals to convert to permanent employment after 6 months continuous service. The Commission has proposed a model Award clause which would include a qualifying period of 12 months to apply to casuals who have worked a pattern of hours that could be equated with full-time or part-time employment provisions of Awards.

Limitation of Hours for New Casuals - An ACTU claim for a provision to the effect that existing employees should be offered additional working hours prior to engaging new employees on a casual basis was rejected.

QDO - BJD Biosecurity Update

There has been a lot of commentary recently and confusion on johnes disease and requirements for dairy farmers to undertake farm biosecurity plans. I would like to clarify the current state of play for QDO members.

To maintain their Johnes disease free status, dairy farmers in Queensland are required to develop a farm biosecurity plan and undertake a slurry test by 30 June 2018.

Dairy farmers may be required to undertake a farm biosecurity plan to comply with LPA requirements to send animals to the meat works from 1 October 2017. However our national organisation, Australian Dairy Farmers, is seeking for dairy farmers to be exempt from this requirement given the on farm auditing and biosecurity plan requirements in place for the dairy industry. It is likely therefore that dairy farmers will be exempt from the new LPA requirements and we will know this for sure during August.

To assist our members, QDO is working closely with the Queensland Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry and Dairy Australia to develop a farm biosecurity planning tool for farmers. We are expecting to begin workshops for QDO members to develop farm biosecurity plans from August 2017. At these workshops farmers will develop a farm biosecurity plan for their farm. Also a slurry test will be taken by a Queensland Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry staff member within a month or so of the workshop for farmers that would like a slurry test taken as part of their biosecurity plan. These workshops and slurry tests will be free to QDO members and will meet a farmers biosecurity requirements and also provide direction to farmers on key management practices on farm to undertake to manage biosecurity risks.

If any QDO member is concerned or confused re requirements to undertake farm biosecurity plans please contact QDO via the executive officer or any council member.

Norco Milk holds prices for 2017/18

Norco Milk customer -70_2000.jpg

Norco milk announced to its suppliers that it will hold the same prices for the year 2017/18 as it did for the previous year 2016/17. This is a great outcome for Norco suppliers and the industry in Queensland in the context of prices for other dairy farmers throughout Australia.

There has been no change to the base milk rates for Queensland’s Northern Region with the cents-per-litre rate at an estimated total average of 57.22 versus the 2016/17 forecast of 57.14.

There is an increase in the Fat Component Penalty Rate from 0.465 cents-per-litre to 0.500 cents-per-litre for each 0.10% deviation in milk fat percent from 3.95%. There has also been an increase in Quality Penalty for Standard Plate Count (SPC) greater than or equal to 20 when the Bulk Milk Cell Count (BMCC) is greater than 300. There is no change to the Protein Component Penalty Rates.

Certainly, Norco’s commitment to hold prices for 2017/18 is good news for the entire Queensland industry and will certainly keep pressure on other processors to hold their farm gate price.