The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has issued a draft determination proposing to authorise* current and future members of the ACT Health Food Co-operative** to collectively bargain with suppliers of health food products, ACCC Chairman, Mr Graeme Samuel, said today.

"Products the subject of the collective negotiations include vitamins, dried fruits and nuts, protein and other supplements, organic fruit and vegetables, other organic food stuffs and essential oils.

"The collective bargaining arrangement may enable members of the co-operative to negotiate bulk discounts with suppliers of health food products. This may result in some public benefit. 

"The ACCC considers that the possible anti-competitive effect of the collective bargaining arrangement is limited given the nature of the proposed arrangement, the structure of the industry and the limited size of the collective bargaining group.  Furthermore, the arrangement is voluntary and does not involve potential boycotts.

"The ACCC notes that member health food stores of the co-operative will continue to individually set retail prices in respect of the goods subject to collective negotiations." 

The ACCC is seeking submissions from interested parties in relation to its draft determination in this matter.  Copies of the draft determination will be available on the ACCC's website  Submissions can be made to:  The General Manager, Adjudication Branch, Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, GPO Box 3131, Canberra ACT 2601.  Submissions can also be lodged by email to: