The ACCC has granted authorisation to Queensland Sugar Ltd, Bundaberg Sugar Ltd, Mackay Sugar Ltd and Isis Central Sugar Mill Co. Ltd to collectively negotiate with Sugar Terminals Ltd for the provision of storage and handling services at the six bulk sugar terminals in Queensland.
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.
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.
The Terms of Reference for the inquiry were set by the Treasurer, the Hon Scott Morrison MP.
The ACCC must submit its report following the inquiry to the Treasurer before 1 November 2017.
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.
The ACCC held public forums between 6 February and 22 March 2017 for dairy farmers.
The ACCC is conducting an inquiry into the competitiveness, trading practices, and transparency of the Australian dairy industry.
Changes are needed to improve transparency and competitiveness in Australia’s cattle and beef markets, with an ACCC study highlighting shortcomings in price reporting, a lack of trust in the carcase grading system, and concerns about anti-competitive conduct affecting competition in cattle and beef sales.
The findings arose from a detailed market study the ACCC conducted into beef and cattle markets in Australia, which involved consultations with all parts of the supply chain, and analysis of available market information and industry data.