Agriculture

ACCC's new Agriculture Unit to focus on supply chains

Investigations into supply chains, regional workshops and advocacy will be key parts of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s increased focus on agriculture, ACCC Chairman Rod Sims said today at the ABARES Outlook Conference in Canberra.

Mr Sims said agriculture issues will be a priority for the ACCC, with new Agriculture Commissioner, Mick Keogh, working closely with a dedicated Agriculture Enforcement and Engagement Unit.

ACCC welcomes new Commissioner Mick Keogh

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission welcomes the Government’s appointment of Mick Keogh as Commissioner.

“Competition and consumer issues in the agriculture sector are a priority area for the ACCC. Mick Keogh has a long history of involvement with the agriculture sector and his experience will be invaluable to the ACCC when making decisions on agriculture matters,” ACCC Chairman Rod Sims said.

ACCC highlights cartels, Indigenous consumer protection, and agriculture in 2016 priorities

Chairman Rod Sims today announced the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s compliance and enforcement priorities at a CEDA event in Sydney.

“In the area of competition law, we will continue to take a strong line on cartel conduct, anti-competitive conduct and practices, and where we can, misuse of market power,” Mr Sims said.

“We have around 20 cartel investigations under way at any one time and we expect one or two criminal prosecutions this year and some other important civil proceedings.”

Alleged Barnawartha boycott concerns investigated

“The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has identified some competition concerns in its investigation into allegations that nine meat processors collectively boycotted the prime cattle sale at the Barnawartha saleyard on 17 February 2015.  However, the evidence obtained by the ACCC did not demonstrate that the processors had reached an agreement not to attend the sale,” ACCC Chairman Rod Sims said.

Supermarkets take steps to address ACCC concerns over implementation of the Food and Grocery Code

Following concerns raised by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, the major supermarkets have taken steps to clarify the implementation of the Food and Grocery Code of Conduct (Code) with their suppliers.

Woolworths and Aldi have written to their suppliers clarifying that suppliers are able to negotiate the terms of their Grocery Supply Agreements (GSAs). They have also clarified the effect of the Code on their GSAs and the circumstances in which certain payments may arise.

ACCC approves long term agreements at Viterra’s Bulk wheat port terminals

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has released a final decision to approve Viterra’s proposal to introduce long term agreements (LTAs) to allocate port capacity at its six South Australian bulk wheat ports.

“The ACCC considers that Viterra’s proposal, submitted in November, substantially addresses concerns raised in the ACCC’s draft assessment to not approve Viterra’s June proposal,” ACCC Commissioner Cristina Cifuentes said.

ACCC welcomes the Government’s response to the Harper Review

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission welcomes the release of the Government’s response to the recommendations of the Harper Review.

“The ACCC supports the Government’s new micro economic reform agenda, which strongly affirms competition principles as a basis for action,” ACCC Chairman Rod Sims said.

The ACCC particularly endorses the removal of regulatory barriers to competition across a variety of sectors.

ACCC urges businesses to check that their contracts are fair

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is urging businesses to closely review the standard form contracts they use when dealing with other businesses.

A new law will take effect on 12 November 2016, following a 12-month transition period, that offers small businesses protections against unfair contract terms offered by other (usually larger) firms.