ACCC Presentation to the Board – Nov 23

The ACCC presented to the ABGC Board on the Horticulture Code of Conduct (Hort Code) review. Some of the key points noted include:

  • Growers and wholesalers can agree on a set price.
  • Merchants must tell growers what the sale price was.
  • A bargaining group may be established with ten or more growers who turnover less than $10m. Whilst a collective bargaining group can register with the ACCC to be protected by law, retailers are not required to deal with that group.
  • Retailers have a voluntary code under the Food and Grocery Code – the ACCC would like to see this changed. Submissions to the review will include a mandatory code along with penalties.
  • The difference between a merchant and an agent is that the pricing and reporting is different. They deed to specify if acting as one or the other when signing an agreement with a grower/supplier.

The Hort Code will likely be reviewed in the next two years.

The ACCC is interested in hearing from industry if there are examples demonstrating wholesalers not following requirements.

Reporting grievances

Sharyn Vaughn (Assistant Director, ACCC) encouraged growers to report any grievances directly to the ACCC confidentially. You can email to make contact, or do so via the ACCC website portal.