Zero tolerance for Code violations

by | Nov 24, 2021 | Australia, News

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has warned processors they are at greater risk of enforcement action for breaches as the grace period for the Code is over. ACCC deputy chair Mick Keogh said processors have had enough time to learn what their obligations are under the Code that was implemented in January 2020.

Earlier in the year, the ACCC initiated Federal Court proceedings against processor Lactalis after the regulator alleged the ACCC failed to comply with a host of regulations in the dairy code of conduct, including introducing transparent or fair standard contract arrangements with Queensland dairy farmers. Infringement notices have also been issued to Brownes Dairy, Union Dairy Company and Dairy Farmers Milk Cooperative. In its report on code compliance, the ACCC identified some areas of non-compliance that need to be addressed, including failure to publish dispute reports, rolling agreements instead of defining contract end dates and processors prematurely removing milk supply contracts from their websites. Keogh said the code had fostered positive changes in the industry, and urged processors to seek legal advice to ensure they fully comply with the code.