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Deputy PM convenes Dairy Symposium to seek solutions

Leaders from the dairy industry met with Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce in Melbourne this morning to discuss measures to help the dairy industry which has suffered significant price setbacks in recent months.

The meeting included representatives of Australian Dairy Farmers, Dairy Australia, NSW Farmers, WA Farmers and the National Farmers’ Federation – as well as processor and supermarket representatives.

Speaking after the Symposium, the Deputy Prime Minister welcomed the chance to tackle the industry’s issues.

“I thank the farmers and key supply chain stakeholders who came together in one room today to discuss better and fairer bargaining and contracting between farmers and processors and propose ways to improve the industry’s prospects going forward,” Minister Joyce said.

“Recent events have shown there is a need for the industry to better balance risk along the dairy supply chain, especially when it comes to managing the effects of lower world prices.

“Ultimately, I want to see improved farm gate returns for dairy farmers, an openness in milk price arrangements and fair and transparent milk supply contracts,” he concluded.

Minister Joyce told the meeting the dairy industry has plenty of promise in the long term.

At the Symposium, key topics of discussion were the long term outlook for the industry – which remains positive – and the need for fairness and transparency in contracting, pricing and behaviour by processors and retailers.

The Deputy Prime Minister has agreed to consider a number of suggestions put forward by farmer representatives and to support improved efforts to collaborate within industry for improved outcomes.

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