- We carry out random compliance checks.
- We investigate alleged breaches of the Horticulture Code of Conduct.
- A range of enforcement options are used. These include undertaking that the court can enforce, infringement notices and court action.
Breaches of the horticulture code
Breaching the Horticulture Code of Conduct can have serious consequences, including penalties and other enforcement action.
Some examples of code breaches for a grower or trader are:
- failing to deal with the other party in good faith
- trading without a horticulture produce agreement in place
- refusing to attend mediation
- failing to keep records.
Some further examples of code breaches for a trader are:
- failing to publish their terms of trade
- failing to tell the grower within 24 hours that they have rejected produce
- in the role of agent, selling a grower’s horticulture produce other than on an ‘arm’s length basis’, without the grower’s written consent
- in the role of merchant, not reporting the gross sale price to a grower, where a method or formula has been used to determine the price.
Enforcement of the horticulture code
If we think someone has breached the horticulture code, we can investigate.
The ACCC has a range of options to ensure compliance with the code. We consider several factors when deciding which option to use.
For more information, see our Compliance and Enforcement Policy.
Enforcement options include:
- administrative resolutions, such as the party in breach agreeing to stop the behaviour
- court enforceable undertakings under section 87B of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010
- infringement notices
- court action.
Court action can result in the court making orders to:
- stop the behaviour
- take some type of action
- pay compensation and damages
- pay a pecuniary penalty.
We do regular checks to make sure traders and growers are complying with the code.
We can require that growers and traders provide us with certain information and/or documents. This helps us understand if:
- the code is being complied with
- records are being kept correctly
- there are compliance issues we need to focus on or educate the industry about.
See Industry code compliance checks for information about the actions we take.
Report misconduct or a breach of the code
Report an alleged breach of the horticulture code or misconduct affecting your business. We use these reports to identify issues that need investigation.
Competition and Consumer (Industry Codes—Horticulture) Regulations 2017