Katters Australian Party Member for Dalrymple Shane Knuth has introduced a private members bill in State Parliament that will enable dairy farmers to receive a fair farm gate price with the establishment of the Fair Milk Mark on bottled milk that is sold in Queensland.
The reality is that in the year 2000 there were 1545 dairy farms in Queensland. The number has now dropped below 540 and is expected to fall below 500 by the end of 2013.
Mr Knuth said if something is not done, Queensland will no longer have a dairy industry.
KAP Member Shane Knuth
The Fair Milk Mark Bill 2013 introduces a non-compulsory marketing mechanism to address the competitive imbalance created by deregulation and the unethical marketing practices of the supermarket duopoly.
The Fair Milk Mark will give consumers the opportunity to express their support of our domestic dairy industry.
Without the re-regulation of the Queensland dairy industry and the introduction of a mandatory minimum arbitrated farm-gate price for milk, there is no other way to achieve the policy objectives.
This bill is simple, it creates a Fair Milk Mark placed on a milk container that identifies that the farmer is paid at least 8c per litre above the cost of production.
When a consumer goes to purchase a bottle of milk, the Fair Milk Mark on that bottle clearly identifies that the dairy farmer has been paid a fair milk price.
While arbitration is proven to be the most effective way to negotiate the farm-gate price, deregulation has placed a noose around the negotiation table.
The Fair Milk Mark will help restore the viability of this valuable industry, rebuild confidence and keep our farmers to do what they know best, and that is to provide fresh milk for Queenslanders.