The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has formally authorised a milk label that aims to showcase processors and brands that pay their farmers a sustainable price.
- A new logo has been developed by the Queensland Dairyfarmers’ Organisation to showcase dairy processors who pay farmers fairly
- Sarah Bucher from Maleny Cheese says the label has the potential to be expanded across the nation
- North Burnett processor Robbie Radel is sceptical with technicalities providing barriers to his eligibility
The Fair Go Dairy logo was developed by the Queensland Dairyfarmers’ Organisation (QDO) with the state government last year and is expected to launch later this year.
Companies must use milk from Queensland cows, Australian-made products, and pay farmers a price the industry deems sustainable for farmers.
Sara Bucher, a part-owner of Maleny Cheese and Obi Obi Dairy on the Sunshine Coast, watched the label develop and was confident her brand would qualify for the logo.
“We pay above and average for our region, we always have for the past 17 years and we always will,” she said.
Problems with qualifying
The QDO has not speculated on how many processors will be eligible for the logo, ahead of the launch later this year.
But Wide Bay processor Robbie Radel said he was hoping to have the logo but needed to sort out some technicalities on pricing.
“The amount that we pay to our suppliers doesn’t reach the cut-off point that has been handed down,” Mr Radel said.
“We cover the cost of transport whereas the major processors may not.
“So if you add that transport cost that we take on the responsibility of as a business then we more than comfortably get past the fair price logo cut-off point.”
Not the silver bullet
QDO president Brian Tessman said the organisation was happy to work with processors case by case to assess their eligibility for the logo.
“If things are successful down the track, and I’m by no means saying Robbie will miss out at this stage, there could be the ability to adjust it more.”
Mr Tessman said if the logo was successful in encouraging consumers to drink milk with the farmers in mind it would only go part of the way to addressing the fundamental price issues faced by dairy producers.
“This is just one small part of it, it’s something we’ve worked on in Queensland and hopefully it will work around the rest of the country,” he said.
“It’s not going to fix it on its own.”