Milk co-op cops penalty from ACCC

Wednesday, 06 October, 2021

Milk co-op cops penalty from ACCC

Dairy Farmers Milk Co-operative Limited (DFMC) has paid an $11,000 fine after being issued with an infringement notice by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) for failing to comply with the publishing obligations of the Dairy Code.

The code requires that processors — companies with intentions of buying milk from farmers — publish standard form milk supply agreements on their websites by 2 pm on 1 June each year; the publication of this information ensures that farmers can compare minimum prices and contract terms from all potential buyers. Purchasers of milk also have to supply a statement outlining the circumstances of how the processor would enter into an agreement with the farmer using that form. Failure to publish the relevant information can obviously result in a hefty penalty being issued by the ACCC.

The Dairy Code, officially called the Competition and Consumer (Industry Codes – Dairy) Regulations 2019, came into effect in January 2020. By the first day of 2021, all milk supply agreements, regardless of when they were signed, had to be in compliance with the code.

Subsequent to paying the penalty fee, the DFMC published the requisite supply agreements on its site. DFMC has since issued an apology for not previously publishing the appropriate information.

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