Agriculture

ACCC urges Horticulture Industry to comply with code

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is putting growers and traders in the horticulture industry on notice that they need to take steps to comply with the 2017 Horticulture Code of Conduct, or face penalties and fines.

Addressing the 2017 NSW Farmers Horticulture Forum today, ACCC Commissioner Mick Keogh called on growers and traders to familiarise themselves with the Code and to ensure their businesses are compliant.

Enforcement of the Horticulture Code of Conduct

A new Horticulture Code of Conduct started on 1 April 2017 and replaced the old Horticulture Code. This factsheet aims to educate horticulture traders (merchants or agents) about the ACCC’s enforcement powers under the new Code. It also has information about the transition period for the new Code, and our approach to enforcement during the transition period.

ACCC takes action against Murray Goulburn

The ACCC has instituted proceedings in the Federal Court against Australia's largest milk processor, Murray Goulburn Cooperative Co. Limited (Murray Goulburn), alleging it engaged in unconscionable conduct and made false or misleading representations in contravention of the Australian Consumer Law. The ACCC also alleges that former managing director Gary Helou and former chief financial officer Bradley Hingle were knowingly concerned in Murray Goulburn’s conduct. 

Tougher penalties under new Horticulture Code

The revised nation-wide Horticulture Code, which sets out mandatory requirements for traders and agents operating in Australian fresh fruit and vegetable markets, will include the potential for penalties of up to $54,000 when it comes into effect tomorrow [1 April 2017].

“Farmers producing fruit and vegetables will be given increased protection under the Horticulture Code as it improves competition and commercial practices in fresh fruit and vegetable markets in Australia,” ACCC Commissioner Mick Keogh said.

How the Horticulture Code helps you

The Horticulture Code of Conduct is a mandatory industry code prescribed under the Competition and Consumer Act 2010. The Code aims to improve the clarity and transparency of trading arrangements between growers and traders in the horticulture sector.

Submissions

The ACCC released an issues paper in November 2016 seeking feedback on key competition and fair trading issues in the industry. Submissions to the issues paper closed on 12 December 2016.