The ACCC has made an initial assessment of certification trade mark application 1914662 (CTM application) lodged by Humane Farm Animal Care (HFAC). This application relates to the treatment of farm animals for food production. The mark bears the words ‘CERTIFIED HUMANE’, and is illustrated below.
HFAC is a certification organisation based in the USA. The animal care standards that underpin the CTM application were created by a committee comprised of animal scientists and veterinarians from USA, Canada, Europe and South America. The proposed CTM Rules contain references to USA-based entities, standards, guidelines and legislation only. HFAC envisages Australian farmers applying to use the CTM.
Public consultation on revised CTM Rules (Version 2)
Following the initial assessment, on 5 May 2020 HFAC submitted revised rules for consideration. The ACCC is conducting a second round of public consultation on Version 2 of the CTM Rules, prior to making a final assessment of this matter.
The ACCC invites submissions on Version 2 of the CTM Rules by 24 July 2020.
Links to each of HFAC’s revised CTM rules are available under the Attachments heading at the bottom of this page – please ensure you look at Version 2 of the CTM Rules.
Further information about making a submission to the ACCC is available from the ‘ACCC’s letter – seeking submissions on Version 2 of the CTM Rules’ – available under the Attachments heading below.
Submissions should be emailed to CTMs@accc.gov.au with the subject “CTM 1914662 - Certified Humane – Submission on Version 2 of the CTM Rules”.
Submissions will be placed on the ACCC’s website, unless otherwise requested. Please indicate clearly in your submission whether you are content for the ACCC to make it publicly available, or if you are requesting exclusion (with brief reasons for any exclusion request).
Initial assessment issued 28 February 2020
The ACCC’s initial assessment is that it was not satisfied of the matters specified in section 175(2) of the TMA and, accordingly, did not propose to give a certificate to approve the registration of HFAC’s CTM application.
For further information about the ACCC’s reasons, including an overview of the concerns raised by interested parties about Version 1 of the CTM Rules, please refer to the ACCC’s ‘Decision – ACCC Initial Assessment Statement of Reasons – 28.2.20’ under the Attachments heading below.
Public consultation on Version 1 of the CTM Rules
To inform its assessment of HFAC’s CTM application in its Initial Assessment, the ACCC conducted a public consultation process on Version 1 of the CTM Rules in August 2019.
A large number of interested parties raised concerns about how HFAC could effectively administer a certification program within Australia which is not based on local production systems, environmental conditions or legislative requirements.
In addition, many interested parties expressed concern that various animal care standards underpinning the rules governing the use of HFAC’s CTM (Version 1) are likely to be inconsistent with reasonable Australian consumers’ expectations of humane food production.
Submissions received in the first consultation process on Version 1 of the CTM Rules are available under the Attachments heading below – labelled ‘Consultation 1 – Submission’.
HFAC did not provide a submission in response to the concerns raised by interested parties about Version 1 of its CTM Rules prior to the ACCC’s initial assessment.
The original CTM Rules (Version 1)
In its application, HFAC submitted the original CTM Rules (Version 1). The ACCC conducted its initial assessment based on Version 1 of the CTM Rules.
Given that HFAC has submitted revised CTM Rules (Version 2) for consideration, Version 1 of the CTM Rules are provided below for information only.
What happens next
The ACCC invites submissions in response to Version 2 of the CTM Rules by 24 July 2020.
HFAC will be provided time to consider and respond to public submissions received by the ACCC, before the ACCC issues a final assessment.