Agriculture

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.

Agriculture and the ACCC

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

Report misconduct in the agriculture industry

You can make a report using our reporting form.

You can make a report anonymously, however this may limit our abilty to follow up matters with you.

Agriculture Commissioner

Our ACCC Commissioner with specific expertise in agriculture, Mick Keogh, works with the Agriculture Unit and assists the ACCC’s activities to encourage fair trading and strengthen competition across agricultural supply chains.

See: Commissioner Mick Keogh

Market studies & inquiries

Cattle and beef market study

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.

See: Cattle and beef market study

Inquiry into the dairy industry

The final report following the Dairy Inquiry was released on 30 April 2018.

See: Dairy Inquiry

Wine grapes market study

In 2018–19 the ACCC’s Agriculture Unit conducted a market study of the wine grape industry. The study examined competition, contracting practices, transparency and risk allocation issues in wine grape supply chains.

See: Wine grapes market study

Agricultural machinery: after sales markets

In February 2020 the ACCC released a discussion paper which identified a number of initial concerns about issues which may be harmful to competition and to purchasers of agricultural machinery. The ACCC is currently reviewing and analysing the information put forward by stakeholders through submissions to the discussion paper and responses to our purchasers survey. This will help inform next steps. We expect to provide an update on next steps later in 2020.

See: Agricultural machinery: after-sales markets

Horticulture and viticulture

In April 2017, the Australian Government 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.

Chicken meat industry review

The ACCC’s self-initiated review into the chicken meat industry has been discontinued, following the August 2020 announcement of a new three-month inquiry into perishable agricultural goods.

Background

In July 2020, the ACCC commenced a self-initiated review of the chicken meat industry in Australia. The review was to focus on the commercial relationships between growers and processors, and was to run until December 2020. Given that chicken meat is a perishable agricultural product,  the chicken meat supply chain will instead be considered as part of the perishable agricultural goods inquiry.

Agriculture information network

We send out newsletters to update subscribers of upcoming events, workshops, market studies, and other relevant opportunities to engage with the ACCC.

Competition and business issues

Several areas of the ACCC’s work have direct impact on agricultural businesses.

Agriculture consultative committee

The ACCC established an Agriculture Consultative Committee in 2016. The Committee helps inform the Agriculture Unit and the broader ACCC on issues affecting the agriculture sector that fall within the scope of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010.

Events and consultations

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.

Past events

Recent consultations

Speeches

Related news

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