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Processors’ publishing obligations

If a processor intends to buy milk from farmers in the next financial year, they must publish:

These documents must be published on the processor’s website before 2 pm (AEST) on 1 June of each year.

When publication deadline is a Saturday, Sunday or public holiday

If 1 June falls on a Saturday, Sunday or public holiday, we consider the processor will have until 2pm (AEST) on the next day, that is not a Saturday, Sunday or public holiday, to publish the required documents. 

Once published, these documents must generally remain on the processor’s website and cannot be changed until the end of the next financial year.

Non-standard form agreements

The code permits processors to enter into non-standard form agreements with farmers in appropriate circumstances.

Non-standard form agreements do not need to be published on a processor’s website but must comply with the other requirements under the code.

Meaning of ‘publish’ under the code

The code’s publishing rules aim to improve transparency in the industry. They allow farmers to access and compare milk supply agreements from different processors before the upcoming dairy season. This enables farmers to make an informed choice about which processor to supply.

To meet the publishing requirements of the code, processors must make their standard form milk supply agreements available directly from their website.

The publishing requirements will not be satisfied if the website only provides a method of requesting the documents from the processor. 


Australian Dairy Ltd’s website allows farmers to request a copy of their milk supply agreement by email. The agreement is not otherwise available on Australian Dairy Ltd’s website.

This will not satisfy the publication requirements because the documents are not accessible directly from Australian Dairy Ltd’s website.

Publishing standard form milk supply agreements

Processors must publish all of their standard form milk supply agreements on their website by 2pm on 1 June.

Those standard form agreements must:

Any agreements published on a processor’s website must not be removed from their website until the end of the next financial year.

Covering all circumstances

Processors must publish as many standard form agreements as needed to cover all the circumstances in which the processor intends to buy milk in the upcoming financial year.

Processors must make a genuine attempt to cover all circumstances they will purchase milk in during the next financial year.

Depending on their individual circumstances, processors may need to account for differences between:

  • geographical regions
  • certain types of milk
  • flat and seasonal milk supply, and
  • exclusive and non-exclusive milk supply.


The Milk Cooperative Ltd buys milk from farmers located in Tasmania, Victoria and Queensland. The Milk Cooperative Ltd considers that each of these regions have unique supply characteristics that must be accounted for in its milk supply agreements.

To meet the publishing requirements, The Milk Cooperative Ltd must publish at least three milk supply agreements, one for each geographical region it sources milk from.

The published standard form milk supply agreements must remain on the processor’s website until the end of the following financial year.

Processors can publish updated standard form agreements after 1 June if necessary. However, changes in newly published agreements will not automatically affect agreements that have already been entered into.


Jersey Cheese Pty Ltd published its standard form milk supply agreements on 1 June 2023. Due to competition for milk supply, Jersey Cheese Pty Ltd publishes a new standard form milk supply agreement on 15 June 2023 with a higher minimum price.

The new minimum price would not automatically update the minimum price contained in any agreements that had already been entered into.

Statement of circumstances

Every milk supply agreement must be accompanied by a statement of circumstances, that sets out the requirements a farmer must meet before the processor will enter into that agreement.

The code does not limit what can be included in a statement of circumstances. Processors should provide enough information to ensure that:

  • farmers understand whether a particular standard form agreement is available to them, and
  • processors are not obliged to accept supply from farmers that do not meet the processor’s business needs.


A processor’s statement of circumstances may include the following circumstances:

  • the farmer must hold a current food safety licence from the relevant state regulatory authority
  • the farm must be located within 250km of the processor’s site
  • the farm has a collection point that a milk tanker can safely access
  • the farm has a demonstrated ability to comply with the milk quality requirements set out in the milk supply agreement
  • the farm is capable of supplying at least 400 litres of milk per collection
  • at the time the farmer offers to enter into the agreement, the processor has not already entered into sufficient milk supply agreements to meet their demand for milk.

Published standard form agreements must be genuine

If a farmer meets the requirements set out in the statement of circumstances, a processor cannot refuse their offer to enter that agreement.

Requirement to publish non-exclusive milk supply agreements

For every statement of circumstances that is published, a processor must publish either:

  • a non-exclusive milk supply agreement, or
  • both an exclusive and non-exclusive milk supply agreement.

Exclusive and non-exclusive milk supply agreements must cover the same circumstances. However, they do not need to be on the same terms or have the same minimum price.

Reports on disputes

Requirement to publish a report on disputes

Each year, processors must publish a report on disputes, even if they don’t have any disputes to report.

The report must cover a period of 12 months beginning on 1 May in the previous calendar year.

Once the report is published it must remain on the processor's website until the end of the next financial year.


By 2 pm on 1 June 2023, a processor must publish a report on all mediations or arbitrations conducted between 1 May 2022 and 30 April 2023.

The report must remain on the processor’s website until 30 June 2024.

What must be reported

The report must provide information on:

  • the number of disputes arising under or in connection with the processor’s milk supply agreements that:
    • were subject to mediation or arbitration
    • started or ended in the reporting period
  • the number of mediations or arbitrations conducted
  • the nature of these disputes
  • the average time taken to resolve these disputes
  • the outcomes of these disputes.

Confidentiality requirements

The report must adhere to confidentiality requirements. The report must not:

  • name or otherwise identify farmers or any other people involved in a dispute
  • include information that was obtained in the complaint or dispute resolution process.

Removal of published documents

Once processor has published the required documents on their website they can’t remove or amend those documents until the end of the next financial year.


On 1 June 2023, Western Dairy Farmers publishes its standard form milk supply agreements, statements of circumstances and report on disputes on its website.

On 15 June 2023, Western Dairy Farmers publishes a new standard form agreement to increase the minimum price on offer.

All of these documents must remain on Western Dairy Farmers' website until 11:59 pm on 30 June 2024.

Processors are permitted to archive documents on their website in order to clearly distinguish between current and historical documents.

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