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Coles announcement highlights need for Mandatory Code of Conduct

On the heels of Coles’ admission to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) yesterday, Australian Dairy Farmers (ADF) has reiterated the need for stronger competition laws that will protect suppliers against the unjust activities of major retailers.

ADF President, Noel Campbell said that Coles’ announcement was a damning indictment against the supermarket giant, whose actions and continual denial over
the past four years have had significant negative impacts on suppliers and dairy farmers affected by $1 per litre milk.

“Coles has misled Australian consumers and Parliament for too long on this issue,” Mr Campbell said.

“They have finally confirmed what ADF, and others, have long said about their unsustainable $1 per litre milk campaign. This admission does nothing to
rectify the damage they have inflicted upon processors and dairy farmers, who have ultimately paid for their unsustainable price cuts.”

Mr Campbell said the announcement highlighted the need for a Mandatory Code of Conduct with significant penalties and a Supermarket Ombudsman to enforce
the Code.

“Coles must pay suppliers, and ultimately farmers, a fair price for their hard work. They should not be able to force the costs of unsustainable price
cuts onto farmers,” he said.

ADF looks forward to the findings of the Harper Review of Competition Law and Policy,
with the hope that this will foster a fairer supply sector going forward and end unjust practices such as the $1 per litre campaign.

ADF thanked the ACCC for its persistence in pursuing Coles in this matter, and said it will be watching the court proceedings closely.

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