Horticulture Code of Conduct

  • The Horticulture Code of Conduct is a mandatory industry code prescribed under the Competition and Consumer Act 2010.
  • The code’s aim is to improve clarity and transparency of trade between growers and traders.
  • The code requires all trade in horticultural produce to have a horticulture produce agreement.
  • Growers and traders must deal in good faith, and failure to do so can lead to penalties.
  • We regularly conduct random compliance checks. We also investigate alleged breaches of the code.

Trade covered by the horticulture code

The horticulture code applies to the relationship between a grower and a trader of horticulture produce, with certain exceptions.

Rights and responsibilities of traders and growers under the code

Traders and growers have rights and responsibilities under the horticulture code. The trader and grower relationship goes through different stages.

A horticulture trader's terms of trade

Terms of trade are the standard terms and conditions under which a trader is prepared to do business with growers. Under the horticulture code, traders must make sure their terms of trade are published and made publicly available.

Horticulture produce agreements

A horticulture produce agreement, commonly known as a HPA, is a contract between a grower and trader that sets out agreed terms and conditions of trade. A written, code-compliant, agreement must be in place before trading starts.

Statement to growers

Traders must give growers regular statements about how they have managed the grower’s produce. What is reported depends on whether the trader is an agent or merchant.

Good faith under the horticulture code

Traders and growers must deal with each other in good faith under the horticulture code. Failure to act in good faith can lead to penalties.

Dispute resolution under the horticulture code

Growers and traders can choose any dispute resolution procedure, though if one of the parties chooses the process described in the code, it must be followed.

Record keeping under the horticulture code

There are record keeping requirements for both traders and growers under the code. Failing to keep proper records can lead to penalties.

Horticulture code enforcement and compliance checks

The ACCC is the national regulator of consumer and competition laws, including the horticulture code. We carry out random compliance checks and investigate alleged breaches of the code. We use a range of enforcement options.

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