The annual Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) Outlook Conference has heard farm gate milk prices will continue to fall until at least 2024. Many of our struggling dairy farmers cannot survive that long.
ABARES also told the Conference dairy cow numbers will further shrink in 2018–19 and will continue to fall until 2021–22. The dairy industry is in crisis.
Government intervention is needed to save our dairy farmers, to guarantee a source of fresh milk for Australian consumers and to save our dairy exports.
A Shorten Labor Government will give urgency to its plan to pursue a Minimum Farm Gate Milk Price. We will have the ACCC test, assess and make design recommendations for a minimum milk price as quickly as is possible.
Along with Labor’s Mandatory Code of Conduct, a guaranteed price will bring investment certainty for dairy farming businesses.
Dairy farmers have been caught in a cost-price squeeze for too long and in the absence of Government intervention, too many will have no future. Time is of the essence.