Statement from Maleny Dairies on the occasion of the Qld Govt choosing China to provide milk to local hospitals
Thank you for the interest, support and inspiration regarding our post last night.
Lots of Questions and Comments and this post will answer what we can. A bit of constructive criticism came back to us which we welcome and this post will answer those. We summarized the point raised instead of responding to each one.
Firstly, ABC news reported the Queensland Government’s response. Let’s see what Acting Health Minister Leeanne Enoch had to say in defense and our response follows each point:
1. Acting Health Minister Leeane Enoch said the bulk of the contract went to Lactalis, whose national office is based at the Pauls' milk factory in South Brisbane. Answer - We say “It is not relevant where the foreign owned company’s headquarters are located. It is not a Queensland owned company that was a cornerstone of the Queensland Government’s Queensland for Queenslanders policy of buying local.”
2. "The Palaszczuk Government knows the importance of supporting local providers wherever possible," Minister Enoch said.
A: We say “wherever possible could have included breaking up the tender into pieces and giving them to Queensland owned Businesses. It was a sitting duck in terms of ease for the Queensland Government to award this tender to Maleny Dairies and a combination of Cheese and Yoghurt Makers if that’s what they wanted”.
3. The successful contractor was the only tenderer able to supply the full range of full and low-fat products required including milk, cheese and yoghurt, to meet the dietary standards and varied requirements of patients.
A: No it wasn’t. Also, she doesn’t say that the tender openly referred to welcoming new products, different sizes and sourcing from other suppliers if you couldn’t supply. We wouldn’t have tendered if it was a one stop shop.
4. "They're also the largest milk processer in Queensland and the biggest buyer of raw milk in Queensland."
A: It was never about the biggest. We were told 100% Queensland owned business 100% operating in Queensland 100% purchases from Queensland suppliers 100% employees in Queensland. That was their new Government Policy.
5. The Government said less than 3 per cent of the contract was being filled by Lion Dairy for a very niche product that only they produce, used in some patient diets.
A: Oh…was that for the Chocolate Custard Snacks and the Flavoured Long life Milk and the Skim Milk (which is basically white water)? What special needs diet is that?? No we don’t do that. Other locally owned processors could have produced this.
6. "Due to the volumes and complexity of some contracts, larger suppliers are often required to fulfil these requirements," a Government statement said.
A: The volumes aren’t 5% of our business and we already drive passed every hospital every day in our delivery trucks. We could have done all the Full Cream and Low Fat Milk a lot of the custard and Yoghurt and outsourced the cheeses to local companies who need increased sales as much as we do.
Below are response to common themed questions:
1. What is it - We lost the chance to supply milk to the Metro North Hospitals including Royal Brisbane and Prince Charles hospitals for 2 years with a three year option.
2. Queensland Health said we could not supply and that they were looking for a ‘one stop shop’ - That is 2 lies not 1. Firstly if they wanted a one stop shop then how come they awarded the tender to two billion dollar multinationals companies, not only one. Secondly a huge part of the tender was about proving that we can supply quality dairy product from delivery times and locations through to volume throughout the year. The whole of the tender represents no more than an extra 5% more business to Maleny Dairies. We could have done their volume in our sleep.
3. Why are we carrying on like pork chops over it? That’s business move on! - Not quite. If the Queensland Government hadn’t used us all year to go to events supporting their campaigns about buying local we wouldn’t have even tendered. We told the Government if it was about price then we can’t compete. We were encouraged not to worry about price and put the tender as being a 100% Queensland Company was now very important. Putting that tender in was very expensive. We think we have every right to carry on because we weren’t even going there in the first place.
4. What about the Queensland Farms with Parmalat and Lions? What about the Queensland employees working for their livelihoods. - Great Point. Let’s talk about that. We want all Queensland farms to win but it won’t be with multinationals and that is our own personal opinion. The 90% (estimated) of the 1500 Queensland Dairy Farms operating in 2000 were with those 2 companies. Today Maleny Diaries can’t count 300 Farms in Queensland. In 2000 we supported 1 farm now we have 11 farm suppliers with their extended families. The winning bidders bring up more and more milk from southern states each year in the hundreds of millions of litres. Nevertheless, the main point is the Queensland Government was about 100% Queensland owned business. 100% Queensland farms, 100% Queensland employees. Lactalis and Lions are NOT Queensland owned companies. It was the Queensland Government who made this about supporting Queensland owned business not Maleny Dairies. We would rather they had said nothing then we wouldn’t have tendered or said ‘boo’ and it would have been about us moving on to other potential opportunities.
Good on local Senator James McGrath for his support for the Maleny crew.
Finally hear from the man himself.
.@MalenyDairies has slammed the State Government after missing out on a tender to supply products to some of Queensland's largest hospitals. Despite a promise to support locals, the tender for Metro-North hospitals went to international companies. https://t.co/OyAjjYbB1y #7NEWS pic.twitter.com/pWMZ8EzO2G— 7NEWS Brisbane (@7NewsBrisbane) January 17, 2020