ACCC gives Fair Go Dairy a fair go in Qld

23rd March 2021 | Eativity editors

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has authorised a licensing scheme that will allow dairy processors to use the “Fair Go Dairy” logo on qualifying dairy products. The move gives the Queensland Dairyfarmers’ Organisation (QDO) permission to grant processors a licence to use the logo, which conveys that the company is paying farmers a “sustainable and fair farmgate price”.

To qualify for the logo, the product must contain at least 80 percent unprocessed milk produced by Queensland dairy cows. The milk also must be purchased from a Queensland dairy farmer for more than or at a price the QDO considers to be “fair”. In 2021/22, the organisation has calculated that processors must pay farmers a minimum price of 73.8 cents per litre to participate in the scheme.

Processors that comply with the voluntary scheme will be able to affix the “Fair Go Dairy” registered trademark to resulting dairy products (milk, cream, dairy desserts and cheese).

“We consider the Fair Go Dairy scheme will likely result in a small degree of public benefit,” says ACCC Deputy Chair Mick Keogh. “The scheme is likely to give consumers more information about the price paid to the farmers supplying the milk. It may also be a useful tool for dairy processors to signal to consumers what they’re paying Queensland farmers.”

Several smaller processors in Queensland are likely to qualify for the scheme and have expressed an interest in participating. However, so far, no major milk processors in Queensland have indicated that they will participate.

QDO has sought authorisation from the ACCC because the scheme may otherwise involve anti-competitive behaviours that could breach the Competition and Consumer Act 2010, since participants in the scheme are likely to be competitors.

The ACCC’s authorisation is granted until 2026. The scheme is expected to be launched, and marketing will likely occur, in the coming months.