Government must act on ACCC findings on perishable agricultural goods

National Farmers’ Federation Chief Executive Tony Mahar has called on the Australian Government to urgently implement all recommendations from the ACCC’s Perishable Agricultural Goods Inquiry.

“The NFF fully supports the ACCC findings from the investigation into perishable agricultural commodities,” Mr Mahar said.

“What the ACCC have found is not surprising but deeply concerning – that food supply chains are rife with bargaining power imbalances and misuse of power against farmers.”

The ACCC has highlighted a range of harmful practices including contract terms that inefficiently allocate risk, harmful use of bargaining power, a lack of transparency and instances of commercial retribution against farmers.

“I have heard countless examples from our horticulture growers of buyers using short notice cancellations to exploit growers and drive down prices.

Once the farmer has picked and packed the produce, they get a phone call from the supplier stating they are cancelling the order, in the same breath they make a ‘new’ order for the same produce at 30-40% discount. This is outrageous.”

The NFF supports recommendations of the ACCC, including:

  • The business-to-business unfair contract terms framework should be strengthened;
  • An economy-wide provision unfair trading practices be introduced;
  • The Food and Grocery Code be strengthened and made mandatory; and
  • Measures be introduced to increase price transparency in supply chains.

“The NFF wholeheartedly support these recommendations. We ask that the Government demonstrates its commitment to a fair go for Australia’s farmers by implementing them in full.”

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