Dairy Farmers Milk Wars

COMM11008 – Blog Four
By Amanda McRae
The Australian government is taking action regarding the “dairy farmer’s crisis”. Queensland Minister for Resources and Northern Australian Senator Canavan in parliament said, “We will continue to work with the dairy sector to make sure we have a strong, efficient and resilient dairy sector in our country,” (Hansard 2016, p. 60). 
Figure 1:  Dairy cattle  Source:  Kerr (2016)
Four elements make up the Dairy Industry:  producers (farmers), processors, marketers and the consumer.  Both processors and marketer’s influence the prices and control contracts.
The Government’s involvement will ensure and regulate fairness and lawful compliance from those involved.  Which is the reason for the recent announcement of the full investigation to look into the Dairy Farmers crisis.  Barnaby Joyce confirms the investigation will get under way in November (Vidot 2016).

Agriculture Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce
Figure 2:  Barnaby Joyce presser  Source:  Australian Broadcast Corporation (ABC) News Rural, Vidot (2016)

“The Investigation would give the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission  (ACCC) power to compel companies to produce information, and power to prosecute where required,” Joyce said (Vidot 2016).

An “All in-depth and independent inquiry is a thorough and fair way to uncover inefficiencies and inequities that our farmers face – and identify a way forward,” said Joyce (Champion 2016, n.p).  Results of the report will be announced, mid-2017 (Campion 2016, n.p).  
Local Federal Member for Flynn, Mr Ken O’Dowd, welcomes the announcement as the local region use to thrive in the dairy industry (Thorpe 2016).
Back in April, local Federal Member for Flynn, Mr Ken O’Dowd, called for urgent action to save the dairy industry, he said, “It is plainly absurd that bottle water is more expensive than milk,” (Kerr 2016, n.p). 
Figure 3:  Milk supply in supermarket  Source:  Long (2016b)
According to Vidot (2016, n.p), Deputy Prime Minister, Federal Minster for Agriculture and Water Resources, Barnaby Joyce has sought major retailers to dismiss cheaper  priced milk.  
The impact of inconsistent pricing and sales has flow on implications for the farmers as Four Corners (2016, n.p) discusses. Farmers need to cover their farming overheads (Long 2016a) as if they can not this causes “cash-strapped Dairy farmers to be forced to sell their babies because they can’t afford to feed them,” (Whitmont 2016, n.p).
Boles (2016, n.p) advises, farmers continue to urge the community to think about what they are buying and are asking consumers to buy Australian dairy. The government continues to work with the dairy industry, “People all over the world want Australian milk, cream (and) cheese – we need to ensure there is still a viable industry in the decades to come,” said Mr O’Dowd (Thorpe 2016, n.p). 


baffle creek
Source: Baffle Dairy Fresh Milk Facebook Page (2016)

Baffle Dairy Fresh Milk 2016, Baffle Dairy Fresh Milk Facebook page post and comments, Facebook 2016, viewed 2 September 2016, https://www.facebook.com/Baffle-Dairy-Fresh-Milk-221546191235593/

Boles, D 2016, Sales of $1 milk have dropped during the dairy crisis, ABC News 2016, viewed 2 September 2016, http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-08-12/7723640

Campion, V 2016, ACCC to undertake full examination of the dairy industry, The Hon. Barnaby Joyce MP, media release, 25 August, viewed 3 September 2016, https://twitter.com/Barnaby_Joyce/status/768660065385533444/photo/1

Farm Weekly 2016, Image of  Agriculture Minister Benaraby Joyce, viewed 2 September 2016, http://www.farmweekly.com.au/news/agriculture/agribusiness/general-news/linfox-gunning-for-kidman-empire/2751329.aspx

Hansard 2016, Australia, House of Representatives, Questions without Notice – Dairy Industry, Debates, 9 August, pp. 60, viewed 22 September 2016, http://parlinfo.aph.gov.au/parlInfo/search/display/display.w3p;query=Id%3A%22chamber%2Fhansards%2F1a29ded1-e7dc-4605-87aa-2fcf6a321e27%2F0126%22

Judd, B 2016, Dairy push for milk levy as Federal Government considers assistance package, ABC News 2016viewed 2 September 2016, http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-05-16/federal-government-considers-assistance-package-dairy-farmers/7417854

Kerr, D 2016, O’Dowd calls for urgent action to save the dairy industry in Queensland, Ken O’Dowd website 2016, viewed 3 September 2016, http://www.kenodowd.com.au/News/tabid/73/ID/379/Ken-ODowd-calls-for-Urgent-Action-to-Save-the-Dairy-Industry-in-Queensland.aspx

Long, W 2016a, Sales of $1 milk have dropped during the dairy crisis, ABC News 2016, viewed 2 September 2016, http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-08-12/7723640

Long, W 2016b, Milk image, ABC 2016, viewed 2 September 2016, http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-08-12/milk-in-the-supermarket/7723548

Thorpe, A 2016, O’Dowd welcomes ACCC inquiry into dairy industry, Central Telegraph 2016, viewed 3 September 2016, http://www.centraltelegraph.com.au/news/odowd-welcomes-accc-inquiry-into-dairy-industry/3084195/

Vidot, A 2016, Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce announces ACCC investigation into Australian dairy industry, ABC News Rural 2016, viewed 2 September 2016, http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-08-25/dairy-symposium-discusses-crisis/7783944

Whitmont, D 2016, Dairy farmers forced to sell up in face of plunging milk prices, Four Corners 2016, viewed 2 September 2016, http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-08-15/dairy-farmers-forced-to-sell-up-in-face-of-plunging-milk-prices/7730638



2 thoughts on “Dairy Farmers Milk Wars

  1. Congratulations on your blog Amanda, it has amazing aesthetic appeal and a great article on the Dairy Industry … I would offer this constructive feedback relative to the first paragraph,

    1. ‘It appears’ – does this mean it is not actually happening? If it is then you can easily drop the word.

    2. ‘the dubbed’ – whilst it is dubbed, it is not a necessary word, as it doesn’t add any clarification.

    3. Barnaby Joyce’s quote, did Barnaby Joyce actually say “he called the major retailers ………”?

    4. The opening sentence is long and would read better if broken into two shorter sentences . Consider this re written first paragraph …

    Supermarkets selling discounted milk are the cause of a crisis in Australia’s dairy industry. Deputy Prime Minister and Federal Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Barnaby Joyce is taking action, “I have called the major retailers to abandon discounted milk” (Vidot, 2016).

    See what you think, and all the best .. I hope you are ok with this feedback, I am not an expert just challenging myself to be a constructive reviewer in an effort to become a better writer.

    Take care,



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