Dairy review terms of reference released

An inclusive and comprehensive review of dairy industry legislation will help our biggest export sector get in shape for the future, says Minister of Agriculture Damien O’Connor.

The Government has released the terms of reference for a review of the 17-year-old Dairy Industry Restructuring Act 2001 (DIRA), which regulates Fonterra to protect the long-term interests of farmers, consumers and the wider economy.

“The Ministry for Primary Industries will consult widely throughout the review, including surveys and formal consultation later in the year and I encourage you all to get involved and have your say,” says Damien O’Connor.

“The review will allow us to take a strategic view of issues facing the dairy industry.

“In particular it will look at open entry and exit for farmers, the raw milk price setting process, contestability for milk, the risks and costs for the sector, and the incentives or disincentives for dairy to move to sustainable, higher-value production and processing.

“The whole dairy sector needs to look ahead to see what trends and potential disruptions are coming our way and get ahead of consumer trends.

“Only through a frank appraisal of the issues will we come to the right conclusions.

“In December last year I announced this Government would review DIRA as a matter of priority, in February we rolled it over to stop certain parts expiring, and today I release the terms of reference setting out the objectives, approach and timing of the review.

“The dairy industry will be fully consulted throughout the review so that any issues can be given full consideration before any changes happen.

“I look forward to receiving feedback from farmers, dairy processors, consumers and the wider public in the upcoming consultation process.

“A high-performing, innovative and sustainable dairy sector is vital to New Zealand’s economic wellbeing,” says Damien O’Connor.

Find the terms of reference here www.mpi.govt.nz/DIRA-review