Agriculture

Dairy Code compliance: Observations from 2021-22 season opening

This update outlines the ACCC’s observations on compliance with the Dairy Code since 1 June 2021.

Agrison to pay penalty and compensation for misleading tractor buyers

The Federal Court has ordered AA Machinery Pty Ltd (trading as Agrison) to pay a penalty of $220,000 after it admitted making false or misleading representations to customers about the warranties and after-sales services, in breach of the Australian Consumer Law.

The Court also ordered Agrison to pay redress to four consumers that bought tractors or wheel loaders, which will amount to approximately $64,000.

Dairy Farmers Milk Co-operative pays penalty for alleged Dairy Code breach

The Dairy Farmers Milk Co-operative Limited (DFMC) has paid a penalty of $11,100 after the ACCC issued it with one infringement notice for allegedly failing to comply with its publishing obligations under the Dairy Code.

The Dairy Code requires most companies that buy milk from farmers to publish standard form milk supply agreements on their websites by 2.00pm on 1 June each year. These agreements must cover all the circumstances in which the company intends to purchase milk in the upcoming dairy season, so farmers can compare the minimum prices and contract terms on offer.

JBS' proposed acquisition of Rivalea raises preliminary competition concerns

The ACCC has outlined its preliminary competition concerns about JBS Australia Pty Ltd’s (JBS) proposed acquisition of Rivalea Holdings Pty Ltd and Oxdale Dairy Enterprise Pty Ltd (together, Rivalea) in a statement of issues published today.

JBS is Australia’s largest meat and food processing company. Rivalea farms and processes pigs. If the acquisition proceeds, JBS will have a significant presence in pig farming, export accredited pig abattoirs, and smallgoods through its Primo brand.

Lactalis Australia in court for alleged Dairy Code breaches

The ACCC has instituted Federal Court proceedings against Lactalis Australia Pty Ltd (Lactalis) for alleged breaches of the Dairy Code of Conduct (the Code). This is the first time the ACCC has commenced proceedings for alleged breaches of the Code.

Lactalis is one of Australia’s largest dairy processors and purchases milk from over 400 dairy farmers across all Australian states. The company produces a wide range of dairy products across a number of brands including Pauls, Oak, Vaalia and Ice Break.

Brownes Dairy pays penalties for alleged breaches of Dairy Code

Brownes Foods Operations Pty Ltd (Brownes Dairy) has paid penalties totalling $22,200 after the ACCC issued it with two infringement notices for allegedly failing to comply with the Dairy Code of Conduct last year.

The Dairy Code requires most dairy processors to publish on their websites, on 1 June each year, standard form milk supply agreements to cover all the circumstances in which they intend to purchase milk in the coming financial year on their websites. This allows farmers to compare processors’ minimum prices and contract terms.

ACCC to scrutinise dairy code compliance as 1 June deadline approaches

The ACCC is urging dairy farmers and processors to be aware of their rights and obligations under the Dairy Code of Conduct ahead of the 1 June deadline for publishing next financial year’s milk supply agreements.

The mandatory code requires most dairy processors to publish standard form milk supply agreements to cover all the circumstances in which they intend to purchase milk in the coming financial year on their websites by 2pm on 1 June. This allows farmers to compare processors’ minimum prices and contract terms.