Competition and fair trading in the agriculture sector is a priority for the ACCC. We've compiled information and resources on competition and business issues that are relevant to the sector.
The Agriculture Unit was established to examine competition and unfair trading issues in agricultural supply chains with a view to improving enforcement and compliance with the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (the Act) across the agriculture sector.
We have three main objectives regarding agriculture:
- Identify key agricultural supply chain issues across the agricultural sector for enforcement focus, investigation and prosecution.
- Increase awareness about codes of conduct, collective bargaining and the ACCC’s consultation processes.
- Conduct specific market studies to enhance our understanding of the competitiveness of agricultural supply chains and how this impacts on farm gate outcomes in general.
A summary of the work undertaken by the Unit in its first year is available in ACCC Agriculture Unit - A year in review.
See also: Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper
Our ACCC Commissioner with specific expertise in agriculture, Mick Keogh, will work with the Agriculture Unit and assist the ACCC’s activities to encourage fair trading and strengthen competition across agricultural supply chains.
In 2016-17 the ACCC’s Agriculture Unit conducted a market study of the cattle and beef sector. The market study examined competition, transparency and efficiency in cattle and beef supply chains.
The ACCC is undertaking an Inquiry into the dairy industry to identify structural and behavioural issues that affect the industry’s performance. The ACCC has released an Issues Paper seeking feedback on key competition and fair trading issues in the industry.
See: Dairy Inquiry
In April 2017, the ACCC launched the revised nation-wide Horticulture Code of Conduct, which sets out mandatory requirements for traders and agents operating in Australian fresh fruit and vegetable markets.
In 2016, the ACCC held a series of regional workshops to speak with people in the horticulture and viticulture industries about the competition and fair-trading issues that affect them and to gain a better understanding of the issues present in supply chains. An account of the competition and fair trading issues raised during the workshops and the ACCC’s response to these issues is available in Perspectives in horticulture and viticulture.
We send out newsletters to update subscribers of upcoming events, workshops, market studies, and other relevant opportunities to engage with the ACCC.
Several areas of the ACCC’s work have direct impact on agricultural businesses.
The ACCC established an Agriculture Consultative Committee in 2016. The Committee helps inform the Unit and the broader ACCC on issues affecting the agriculture sector that fall within the scope of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010.
A review of the Committee’s membership is currently being undertaken. Expressions of interest are currently being sought for appointment to the Agriculture Consultative Committee.
We hold a range of forums in regional areas with targeted industry sectors to:
- discuss concerns and share information about supply chain competition and unfair trading issues
- learn about rights and responsibilities under the Act and how to engage effectively with the ACCC.
To report alleged misconduct in the agriculture industry, please contact the ACCC.
You can make an anonymous report by using our Report an agricultural issue anonymously form.