Queensland Dairyfarmers’ Organisation Limited

Summary

On 6 April 2021, the Australian Dairy Products Federation Inc. (ADPF) applied to the Australian Competition Tribunal (Tribunal) under section 101 of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 for review of the ACCC’s determination (of 12 March 2021).  This matter is now before the Tribunal and the ACCC determination has not come into effect.

The interim authorisation granted by the ACCC on 18 December 2020 remains in place.

Application for review by the Tribunal

On 6 April 2021 ADPF (an industry association representing commercial, post farm-gate members of the Australian dairy industry, including processors, traders and marketers of Australian dairy products) lodged an application for review of the ACCC's determination with the Tribunal.

The Tribunal has published the application, which can be found on the Tribunal's website. 

As an application for review has been made to the Tribunal, the ACCC’s determination has not come into effect. A review by the Tribunal is a re‑hearing of the matter.

Background on QDO’s application for authorisation and ACCC determination

On 25 September 2020, the Queensland Dairyfarmers Organisation (QDO) lodged an application for authorisation for a licensing scheme for processors of milk and dairy products to apply a “Fair Go Dairy” logo to their products. The logo is intended to signal to consumers that the products bearing the mark are made from milk for which farmers have been paid a minimum price (known as the ‘Sustainable and Fair Farmgate Price’, or ‘SFFP’). The products which can display the logo include dairy milk, dairy cream, dairy desserts and cheese.

Under the licensing scheme QDO will grant a license to use the “Fair Go Dairy” logo to processors for use on dairy products made using no less than 80% unprocessed milk purchased from a farmer where:

  • the farmer’s farm is located within Queensland
  • the milk is derived from dairy cows located within Queensland
  • the purchase price for the milk (per litre) is not less than the SFFP, and
  • no milk used in the products may be sourced from outside of Australia.

The SFFP is determined by QDO using a formula for the Cost of Production multiplied by the CPI Adjustment Rate. The Cost of Production means the average cost of production for milk published by the Queensland Dairy Accounting Scheme. Further details on how the SFFP is set can be found in the application (particularly the updated Annexure A – provided on 4 March 2021) and QDO’s letters to the ACCC dated 27 November 2020 and 4 March 2021.

On 18 December 2020, the ACCC issued a draft determination proposing to grant authorisation for five years, and granted interim authorisation for QDO to continue to prepare and commence marketing of the scheme, and to negotiate license agreements with milk processors, but not to enter into and/or give effect to any license agreements for the scheme.

On 12 March 2021 the ACCC issued a determination authorising the Fair Go Dairy scheme for five years, until 3 April 2026. The ACCC’s final determination can be found under the Decisions heading below.

Applicant(s)

  • Queensland Dairyfarmers’ Organisation Limited

Authorisation number(s)

  • AA1000530-1