New Zealand dairy group Fonterra has welcomed the ruling by the country’s Commerce Commission ordering Open Country Cheese to pay the group in excess of NZ$800,000 (US$506,144).
The Commerce Commission found Open Country Cheese to be in breach of its contract with Fonterra and ordered the company to meet its commitments. The ruling followed a complaint to the Commission by Open Country Cheese itself concerning the price it paid Fonterra for milk supplied under the terms of the Dairy Industry Restructuring Act.
Barry Harris, director of milk supply at Fonterra, said the method for calculating the wholesale milk price was clearly set out in the legislation, and Fonterra had always been confident that its pricing was in line with both the letter and the intent of the legislation. “The intent of the legislation is to ensure a ready supply of raw milk at a fair price, and this is clearly being achieved,” Harris said.