Markets, trade and value chain

The markets, trade and value chain policy advisory group (PAG) is committed to improving dairy farm profitability and ensuring sustainable growth for Australian dairy production. The PAG also deals with issues relating to market insights, collective bargaining, health and nutrition, sustainable farm input costs, competitive domestic and international market access, and food safety.

Scope

  • Gather market insights

  • Enhance collective bargaining

  • Create sustainable farm input costs and production systems

  • Advocate at national and international levels for open and competitive market access

  • Promote food safety and the importance of dairy products for health and nutrition

Priorities

  • Maximise potential for secure market access.

  • Ensure a competitive regulatory framework.

  • Create a sustainable and profitable industry value chain for both domestic and export markets.

Policies

Collective Bargaining
  • ADF supports collective bargaining arrangements via the Trade Practices Act 1974.
Competition
  • The Competition and Consumer Act 2010 should include an “effects test” consistent with competition policy around the world.
 Contract management
  • The Australian Government should establish a mandatory code of conduct covering the whole supply chain to balance the market power of major retailers.
  • The Australian Government should appoint an Ombudsman with the powers to ensure compliance.
  • A statutory duty of good faith should be inserted into the Competition and Consumer Act 2010.
  • Unconscionable conduct should be defined in the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 as “any action in relation to a contract or to the terms of a contract that is unfair, unreasonable, harsh or oppressive, or is contrary to the concepts of fair dealing, fair-trading, fair play, good faith and good conscience”.
 Co-operatives
  • ADF supports Australian farmer-owned co-operatives as the foundation for a strong Australian dairy industry.
 Foreign Investment
  • Foreign investment is important to the Australian dairy industry.
  • The Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) should examine foreign investment on a case-by-case basis.
 Health and Nutrition
  • ADF must ensure health and nutrition policy initiatives are consistent with the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) guidelines.
  • Primary industry bodies and RDCs must have a seat at the table of all relevant health and nutrition policy forums.
 Infrastructure
  • Funding must be provided for strategic regional infrastructure projects beneficial to agriculture and regional communities.
  • ADF supports the delivery of the Australian Government’s Roads to Recovery program.
  • State road authorities should be appointed as the sole approver of heavy vehicle operations on local roads.
Interest Rates
  • ADF must ensure Australia’s monetary policy recognises the impact a high Australian dollar has on our exports.
  • Australia must focus on levers that improve investor and business confidence and reduce interest rates in line with other developed economies.
 International Trade
  • Trade agreements must provide genuine liberalisation of dairy products and commercially meaningful opportunities for Australia’s dairy industry.
  • The number of Agricultural Counsellor postings should be increased to help remove barriers to trade (including non-tariff barriers) in key international markets such as Vietnam, the Philippines and Saudi Arabia.
  • Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) clauses must not hold up free trade agreements (FTAs).
  • The Australian Government must ensure protectionist countries do not use aspects of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) framework to reduce or eliminate genuine dairy market reform in the domestic markets.
  • The Australian Government must ensure the Indonesia–Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (IA‐CEPA) includes:
    • a systemic approach to resolving non-tariff barriers, with the application of sound science and international standards and cooperation between respective regulatory agencies as guiding principles; and
    • investment clauses that encourage a mutually beneficial two‐way flow subject to appropriate protections for investors.
  • The Australian Government should push for the removal of sponsored market support in the European Union (EU).
  • The Australian Government must ensure the EU consistently applies CODEX standards, recognises Australian health and food safety standards and improves regulatory co-operation based on the following principles:
    • That health and food safety standards are based on sound science noting that milk production systems differ between nations;
    • Ensure non-discrimination between domestic and imported goods in accordance with GATT Article II (national treatment);
    • There is transparency of processes in developing regulations and in implementing regulations;
    • Achievement of the most efficient trade enhancing and least trade restricting practices;
    • Focused on outcomes;
    • Real time consultation with dairy stakeholders in developing solutions to existing regulatory practices. And an early warning system for development of regulations; and
    • Consistency in approach to developing regulations.
  • The Australian Government must ensure the EU does not impose an overly restrictive and anti-competitive Geographical Indications (Gis) regime on Australia.
  • A UK trade agreement must have:
    • commercially meaningful liberalisation of dairy products from date of implementation with a substantive compound annual growth rate
    • dairy product coverage;
    • quotas organised as a transitory measure to free trade within a short time frame (5 years maximum);
    • in‐quota tariff rates set to zero;
    • non‐tariff measures based on international standards and sound science with a mandatory requirement for regulatory cooperation that can lay the basis for harmonisation of standards.
  • ADF supports the Nairobi Ministerial Decision to eliminate export subsidies.
  • ADF supports the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership(CPTPP) as it will create dairy export opportunities, particularly in Canada, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, and Vietnam.
 Marketing
  • Educate consumers on healthier food choices.
  • Food labelling systems should permit effective communication to consumers, support fair trade for industry and brand owners, have a high level of compliance and be able to be enforced.
  • Do not support mandatory health promotion messages to consumers by way of food labels including front of pack labelling.
  • Support a voluntary country of origin labelling scheme.
Pricing
  • $1-per-litre milk is unsustainable and does not give a fair return to dairy farmers and others in the supply chain.
  • ADF supports branded milk as a means to increase returns to dairy farmers.
  • Australian milk producers should derive the maximum price amount achievable.
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