Online submissions on the draft code are now available
The Australian dairy industry is set to see the implementation of a mandatory code of conduct come into effect on 1 January 2020, months ahead of schedule.
NSW Nationals Senator Perin Davey said the code of conduct aims to increase fairness and transparency in the industry.
"In 2016, we commissioned an ACCC inquiry into the competitiveness of prices, trading practices and the supply chain in the dairy sector," she said.
"The ACCC recommended in its final report that a mandatory code of conduct be introduced to address the market failures it had identified in the industry, and we have been working closely with the industry to develop a mandatory code which provides clear safeguards outlining how farmers are treated as members of the supply chain."
The code will allow farmers to take action against unfair contracts.
"Ahead of the code's formal introduction on 1 January next year, the dairy industry is on notice to make sure that the contracts offered to farmers are appropriate and fair," Senatory Davey said.
The code is a result of more than three years worth of work, and Senator Davey acknowledged the role the dairy industry had in its development.
"Dairy is Australia's third largest rural industry and is a particularly important industry in my home state of NSW, where dairy farms - 98 per cent of which are family owned and operated - are located on both the north and south coasts, as well as in the Riverina-Murray, Hunter Valley and Northern Tablelands regions," she said.