Farmers speak out at ACCC dairy hearings

Victorian ACCC dairy hearings begin


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About 100 Gippsland farmers attended the first Victorian hearing of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) dairy inquiry, in Traralgon.

About 100 Gippsland farmers attended the first Victorian hearing of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) dairy inquiry, in Traralgon.

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Farmers attending the inquiry hearing said they were keen to listen, as much as put across their views.

Before the hearing opened, and after it closed, farmers spoke about why they were attending and what outcomes they were hoping for:

Graeme and Debbie Dyke, Dollar, 450 herd, supplies Burra Foods.

I’ve got a lot of time for the ACCC, I believe we are being ratted, in this industry, ratted.

When it was the ACCC, I thought I was going to listen to what is going on here, maybe they are pulling the wool over our eyes, we are not silly, and we just want to see what is going on. We believe the big factories are getting too inefficient from the farmgate, to the supermarket shelf. Too much money is disappearing and we want to see what’s going on, we are just going to listen.

Debbie Dyke:

We are here to listen and see where the industry is going, dairy farmers need help.

Frankie Mills, Kilmany, 500 cows, supplies Parmalat.

Just thought it would interesting to come and see what the ACCC is all about, to hear about what they have to say, there has been a lot of turmoil in the industry, we haven’t been as much affected, but we are down a little bit. Obviously Murray Goulburn is the main player and we want to see what will happen.

Marian Macdonald, 250-260 cows, supplies Fonterra

I think if are going to change things, and things really do need to change, this is our best shot at making this happen.

I think the ACCC needs to do something in this space, the ACCC needs to set boundaries what the processors can, and can’t do, and hopefully that will enable things to change, so we don’t find ourselves in the same position, in five, or ten years time.

Chris Peters, Leongatha, 200 cow herd, Murray Goulburn.

I came along to try and find out a bit more information, see what other people have to say, about the current situation, everyone is in, maybe hear about some of the other processors that haven’t been mentioned, that have been screwing everyone over, as well, besides Murrya Goulburn.

I’d like to see more fairer pricing, across the board, on all processors, not just Murray Goulburn. Everybody is sitting there pointing the finger at Murray Goulburn, saying it’s their fault. There’s all these companies getting away with murder, and it’s still Murray Goulburn’s fault.

Raelene Hanratty, Upper Maffra West, 400 Jerseys,  supplies Murray Goulburn

I’m here out of curiosity, really, I want to hear other people’s opinions, I am with Murray Goulburn, so I want to hear what other people, supplying other factories, say.

It’s been a while since the symposium, and I know there’s things been talked abou, since then, so, I am expecting it will take a lot longer.

Brad Missen, 350 cow herd, Dennison, Murray Goulburn supplier.

I am here to make sure the conversation is balanced, as a Murray Goulburn supplier,I want to make sure people understand why we have Murray Goulburn.

I have got no expectation, to be honest, I just hope they can understand where we are coming from, what’s important, and why co-ops are important. Ideally, they need to be managed well.

Former Australian Dairy Farmers (ADF) chair Noel Campbell, 500 cow herd, Yannathan, Parmalat supplier.

I think we need to be careful we don’t put ourselves in a situation we don’t make permanent changes, we are not happy with.

The pricing systems we have had over the years have served us well, other than last year, really.

In the GFC year we had a situation where it was a world economic situation, where there was not much could be done about that, but it was a dairy specific situation last year, and we just want to put in place things which will stop the clawback type scenario happening.

I think we need to maintain what’s been good for the industry, over a long period of time.

I think it was subdued, but I think there is still a lot of anger towards Murray Goulburn and Fonterra, justifiably.

I think there may be some capability – most people in Victoria and Tasmania don’t have contracts, they have supply agreements, and we have to be prepared to give and take, if we are prepared to lock in, for a particular length of time.

We would need to be secured with milk price, for a period of time, but as farmers, we were have to be prepared to lock in for a period of time.

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