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.
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.
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 Commissioner Mick Keogh discusses the challenges consolidation presents for Australian agriculture, and the tools to preserve and promote competition in the sector.
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.