The sale of Australian Co-operative Foods Limited (ACF), which trades as Dairy Farmers, to National Foods has moved a step closer after regulators allowed Dairy Farmers to continue a supply and pricing deal with its supply co-operative.

The approval from the the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) allows Dairy Farmers' supply co-operative to continue bargaining on behalf of its 2,000 farmer members.

"The ACCC considers that the continuation of the existing pricing and purchasing policies following the sale of ACF will result in a public benefit in the form of transaction cost savings and efficiency gains," ACCC chairman Graeme Samuel said yesterday (23 October).

"The ACCC also considers the continuation of the policies will provide certainty of supply arrangements, particularly for [Dairy Farmers'] farmer members."

National Foods, the Australian unit for Japanese conglomerate Kirin Holdings, agreed in August to buy Dairy Farmers in a deal worth A$910m (US$773.9m).