Pluses and minus with DIRA announcements
Source: Federated Farmers
Federated Farmers sees useful changes and a missed opportunity in the decisions on amendments to the Dairy Industry
Restructuring Act 2001 (DIRA) announced today.
"We’re disappointed that open entry provisions won’t be changed, other than relating to new conversions," Feds Dairy
Industry Group Chairperson Chris Lewis says.
"It’s nearly 20 years since this legislation was passed to ensure that with the formation of Fonterra, competition for
farmer milk supply, and dairy product choice for consumers, was preserved. The market is now mature enough, and
competition among a host of processing companies robust enough, for Fonterra to be given some discretion over who it is
required to pick up milk from."
Today’s decisions announced by Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor will give Fonterra some leeway over accepting milk
from land newly converted to dairy, "and that’s good," Lewis says. "We await detail on what the definition of a ‘new
"We’re also pleased that the amended DIRA will give more clarity on when Fonterra can refuse supply when a farmer is
well below industry standards relating to the environment, animal welfare, greenhouse gas emissions and the like.
"There are some farmers who have demonstrated their unwillingness to come up to the standard of all the other
shareholder/suppliers out there.
"As with other aspects of the government’s announcements, the devil will be in the detail," Lewis says.
Federated Farmers looks forward to taking part in the consultation process with the Select Committee to help ensure the
details of the bill are fit for purpose.