In late 2016, the ASBFEO ran the Dairy Industry consultation to engage and reach out to affected dairy farmers. Some of the advocacy activities included promoting greater transparency in pricing and visibility of market fluctuations, along with improving dairy supply contracts (including in relation to retrospective, lock-in and secrecy clauses).
As a result of this, a new dairy industry Code of Practice for Contractual Arrangements between Dairy Farmers and Processors was introduced on 30 June 2017.
Ombudsman Kate Carnell had input to the code and said the voluntary code addresses issues that may now be contested under unfair contract terms law where one party is a small business. The law came into effect on 12 November 2016.
Update - ACCC Dairy Inquiry
On 30 November 2017 the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) released their interim report following their inquiry into the competitiveness of prices, trading practices and the supply chain in the Australian dairy industry. Submissions to the interim report are due by 31 January 2018 and can be emailed to email@example.com.
The final report will be submitted to the Treasurer by 30 April 2018. The interim report can be found here.