National Foods sees hope for milk deal in Tasmania

Posted by Daniel Palmer on 21st December 2009

The long-running talks between Tasmanian dairy farmers and processor National Foods finally took a turn for the better early last week after previous negotiations had continually stalled.

The ongoing saga has hurt both parties, with farmers not having the surety of contracts while National Foods sales in the state have reportedly been hit by the negative publicity. And now, a couple of months after talks initially broke down and a few weeks after the deadline passed for farmers to sign the National Foods offer, it appears as if an amicable agreement may yet be reached.

“National Foods and the Tasmanian Suppliers’ Collective Bargaining Group have held a positive and productive discussion in Melbourne to review National Foods’ milk
price model. The parties have emerged with a renewed sense of goodwill,” National Foods reported in a statement.

“National Foods will review the Collective Bargaining Group’s proposal to ensure National Foods’ pricing model is fair and transparent. The parties will reconvene in Tasmania next Monday (today) to discuss National Foods’ response.”

Spokesman for the collective bargaining group, Phil Beattie, indicated to the ABC that the new proposal from farmers had been well received with both parties now more desperate to find a compromise.

“It just seems to me that we’re all tired of all this,” he said. “National Foods are tired of it, the Tasmanian public are tired of it, and they’re genuine, I believe, we believe, they’re genuine in their desire to get a resolution.”