By Brian Tessmann, QDO President
While it was disappointing that the Fair Milk Logo Bill was defeated in State Parliament last week, Queensland Dairyfarmers’ Organisaion (QDO) welcomes Government’s plan to assist industry to develop its own Queensland Fair Milk Logo scheme.
The failed Fair Milk Bill sought to establish a logo scheme that would assist consumers to identify local milk that delivered a sustainable return to Queensland dairy farmers. While QDO would have preferred the Bill as moved by the Katter Australia Party (KAP) to be passed, the financial assistance offered by the government will go a long way to helping industry develop and promote valuable information to inform consumers.
The funding is made up of around $550,000 for QDO to develop the Logo scheme itself, plus $120,000 for the Department of Agriculture to further develop the Queensland Dairy Accounting Scheme (QDAS) and facilitate greater farmer participation. In addition to this, a further allocation of $290,000 will be set aside for the Office of Small Business to assist farmers and small processors to diversify their product range and better develop markets and branding.
QDO is looking forward to finalise details on the funding announcement with the government over the coming weeks. It is essential that a logo is developed and used to add value for both consumers and dairy farmers.
As previously acknowledged by both farm and processor sectors of the industry, one of the major issues that have hurt farmers has been the commoditisation of white milk that has occurred since $1-per-litre milk started in 2011. One major lesson however learnt during the “I buy branded milk” campaign was that many Queensland consumers wanted a clear and simply way to know which brands to buy that support the future of dairy farming across the state.
QDO’s ‘Fair Milk Logo’ will deliver this customer certainty and in turn will deliver for our dairy farmer members and should be welcomed by everyone who supports a sustainable dairy industry in Queensland.