Tuesday, 04 August 2020 09:34

All about a level playing field — co-op

Written by  Sudesh Kissun
John Monaghan is thanking Government for passing the DIRA amendments before the general elections. John Monaghan is thanking Government for passing the DIRA amendments before the general elections.

Fonterra says a revamped Dairy Industry Restructuring Act (DIRA) creates “a more level playing field”.

Cooperative chairman John Monaghan says the changes ultimately will keep more of the value created by kiwi dairy farmers back in New Zealand.

In an email to farmer shareholders, Monaghan expressed delight at Parliament approving key changes to DIRA.

The changes to the 20-year-old legislation passed unanimously through Parliament. The biggest change is the removal of open entry and exit provisions and comes into effect from June 1, 2023.

Monaghan thanked farmers who made submissions during MPI’s consultation process.

“With your support, meaningful changes were made to the legislation.”

The open entry provisions relate to a farmer’s ability to freely enter Fonterra and the co-op’s ability to refuse farmers that do not meet its standards.

Monaghan assured farmers that Fonterra will continue to pick milk from supplying farms that changed ownership.

“I reconfirmed our 2017 commitment to Federated Farmers that we will continue to accept applications to supply from all farms that are, at the time of the application, supplying Fonterra, until the remainder of the pro-competition provisions in DIRA fall away.

“This means that even if ownership of a farm changes, Fonterra will accept supply from that farm as long as the supply to Fonterra is continuous and the new owner meets our normal terms and conditions of supply.”

Fonterra will amend its constitution to this effect at its annual meeting in November.

Monaghan thanked the primary production select committee and Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor “for listening to the views of New Zealand dairy farmers and being open to change”.

He also thanked the Government for prioritising the DIRA legislation and giving the industry certainty before this year’s election.

“This modernised legislation creates a more level playing field for our co-op and ultimately will keep more of the value created by kiwi dairy farmers back here in New Zealand.”

O’Connor says the dairy sector has changed considerably since 2001.

“The amendments we have made to this very aged legislation ensure this regulatory regime puts the sector in the best possible position in a post-COVID world,” he says.

“We want to ensure the DIRA remains fit for purpose in a changing economic and social environment, and continues to deliver benefits for our farmers, consumers, and New Zealand’s economy as a whole.”

The Government is determined to ensure the industry moves milk up the value chain. O’Connor says the changes will enable Fonterra to invest in that higher-value end. 

More like this

Is he the right Guy for Fonterra?

Former Primary Industries Minister and Fonterra board aspirant Nathan Guy believes his relationships with bureaucrats in Wellington will help the co-op’s farmers immensely.

Fonterra back in the black

Fonterra chief executive Miles Hurrell says 2019/20 was a good year for the co-op, with profit up, debt down and a strong milk price.


Look out for rural communities - RWNZ

Rural Women NZ is calling for a commitment to improving the health and well-being of rural families and enhancing rural communities’ reliance from all candidates at this year’s general election.


Prices expected to wax and wane

Expect more of the same as dairy prices on Global Dairy Trade (GDT) broke a two-month drought and posted an increase last week.

Beef+Lamb pushing for changes

Farmer-good organisation Beef+Lamb NZ (BLNZ) says it will continue to advocate for changes to the new fresh water regulations.


Live cattle exports in limbo

The fate of 28,000 cows in quarantine in New Zealand and supposedly destined for China in the coming weeks hangs…

Farm values down — REINZ

A floating and volatile situation – that’s how the Real Estate Institute of NZ rural spokesperson Brian Peacocke describes the…

Putting farmers first

The NZ agriculture sector is more than just a job for CRV Ambreed’s new managing director James Smallwood.

Graziers quitting!

Some Southland farmers who graze dairy cattle in winter say they will not do it next year.

Machinery & Products

Mowers get a makeover

Well known throughout New Zealand over the past 18 years, Pottinger has redesigned its rear-mounted Novadisc mowers to incorporate a…

Hardy spotlight

High quality, reliable lighting is essential for anyone involved in agriculture or the great outdoors.

Simmm twin water blasters

Italian made Simmm Power Cleaner 100/11 and Power Gun 100/11 single-phase (230 volt) electric water blasters are proving popular in…

OPD argument raging on

A stoush is brewing with the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) heavily criticising Farmsafe Australia’s recent Safer Farm Report.

» Latest Print Issues Online

Milking It

Cows and earthquakes

OPINION: It has long been suggested that animals have senses that humans don’t, and often behave differently than usual shortly…

Battle is on

OPINION: One of Australia’s biggest dairy businesses is back on the market after the Federal Government knocked back a bid…

» Connect with Dairy News

» eNewsletter

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter