WELLINGTON, June 6 (Xinhua) -- New Zealand will make key changes to its dairy industry legislation, which include allowing the country's largest company Fonterra to refuse milk supply from farmers in circumstances where milk is not compliant or unlikely to comply with the company's terms and standards of supply.
Minister of Agriculture Damien O'Connor announced changes to the legislation governing the dairy industry on Thursday.
"These changes will provide certainty for the dairy industry and ensure the sector can pursue sustainable value growth for the benefit of all New Zealanders," O'Connor said in a statement.
Changes will be made to the Dairy Industry Restructuring Act 2001 (DIRA) and the Dairy Industry Restructuring Raw Milk Regulations 2012. The DIRA, passed into law in 2001, saw the creation of Fonterra. It also promotes the efficient operation of dairy markets in New Zealand.
"The industry has changed considerably since 2001, and it is important to ensure the regulatory regime puts the sector in the best possible position," he said.
"The government is committed to building a modern and productive economy and that means being smarter in how we work," the minister said, adding the changes will support the dairy sector to produce and export high value goods in a way that sustains the environment it relies upon.
Cabinet has approved changes to both pieces of legislation after listening to the views of farmers, independent dairy processors, NGOs, and representatives of Maori interests nationwide. Both bills will now be progressed through parliament.