National Farmers' Federation

Competition rules should be fair for farmers

The National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) has recently lodged a http://www.nff.org.au/get/submissions/4820.pdf[submission] in response to the Harper Competition Policy Review Panel Draft Report. NFF CEO Simon Talbot said the draft report is an important step toward positive reforms that will underpin Australia’s competitiveness for the next 20 years. “The Harper Review is a critical opportunity to get the policy settings right, so that Australian farmers can compete on a fair playing field in domestic and overseas markets,” Mr Talbot said. “Key priorities for the agricultural sector include measures that will rebalance the supply chain, including misuse of market power, unfair contract terms and greater flexibility in collective bargaining, among several other recommendations. “We recognise the importance of collaboration across the food and fibre supply chain where all players—farmers, processors and retailers—have the opportunity to grow and innovate. This means making sure competition rules facilitate transparency, stability and equity. “We welcome the government’s commitment to review the legislation and look forward to continuing to engage in the process to ensure farm and agribusiness sector concerns are addressed. “We maintain our principal policy of a mandatory code – ensuring a whole of supply chain approach that encompasses all retailers, and provides assurances that breaches of any code have the backing of government. We want to see the implementation of fair policy settings that positively impact on farmer revenue. “The NFF supports healthy competition: farmers are not afraid of competition as long as it’s fair, what we need is an effective legislation base to work in. We welcome the opportunity to contribute to the Harper Review as a mechanism to promote the competitiveness of Australian agriculture. “The NFF and its 31 member organisations will be monitoring the outcomes of this process very closely,” Mr Talbot said.

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