The ACCC has authorised Australian Dairy Farmers Ltd (ADF) to collectively bargain terms and conditions of raw milk supply contracts with processors. The authorisation is conditional and for a period of 10 years. This final determination follows the draft determination issued in June 2011.
ADF was first granted authorisation in 2002. Since that time dairy farmers have formed 18 collective bargaining groups, representing about 500 farming families. In 2006, the ACCC re-authorised ADF to collectively bargain with dairy processors for five years.
In the most recent previous ADF determination, the ACCC considered the areas of competition relevant to assessing the ADF collective bargaining arrangements were the:
- farmgate supply of raw milk to processors over regional areas (with some overlap in these areas acknowledged); and
- wholesale and retail supply of drinking milk and manufactured dairy products.
The ACCC considered that these areas were still relevant for the purposes of this determination.
The ACCC granted authorisation subject to a number of conditions. The determination was made on 4 August 2011 and will come into force on 26 August 2011 (providing no application for review of the determination is made to the Australian Competition Tribunal).