Horticulture

Court penalises potato wholesaler for breaching the Horticulture Code and declares unfair contract terms void

In proceedings brought by the ACCC, the Federal Court has declared that certain terms of contracts between Australia’s largest potato wholesaler, Mitolo Group Pty Ltd, and potato growers entered into between December 2016 and February 2018 were unfair contract terms and therefore void.

Red Rich Fruits amends contracts with growers after ACCC concerns

A trader in apples, pears and other fresh fruits has agreed to change its horticulture produce agreements with growers after the ACCC raised concerns the agreements contained unfair contract terms, and terms which did not comply with the Horticulture Code of Conduct.

M.V Napoleone & Co Pty Ltd, trading as Red Rich Fruits, has agreed to amend a term in its standard form horticulture produce agreement considered by the ACCC to likely be an unfair contract term under the Australian Consumer Law.

Action against Mitolo for alleged unfair contract terms

The ACCC has instituted proceedings against Mitolo Group Pty Ltd and a related entity (together, Mitolo) alleging that several terms in Mitolo’s standard form contracts with potato farmers are unfair contract terms, and that Mitolo has breached the Horticulture Code in its dealings with farmers.

“This is the first court action the ACCC has taken under the newly introduced Horticulture Code and our first unfair contract terms action in the agriculture industry,” ACCC Deputy Chair Mick Keogh said.

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.

Example Horticulture Produce Agreement - Agent

A HPA can have additional terms and conditions as agreed by both parties, provided they do not conflict with the Code.

Example Horticulture Produce Agreement - Merchant

A HPA can have additional terms and conditions as agreed by both parties, provided they do not conflict with the Code.

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.