National Farmers' Federation

No better time to get to know fresh produce codes of conduct

The National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) Horticulture Council is today launching a two-part webinar series to build awareness of fair trading practices within the fresh produce sector and along the supply chain.

The first webinar, next Thursday 23 February at noon, will cover grower and trader rights and responsibilities under the Horticulture Code of Conduct. It will include a review of updated guidance issued late last year by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) concerning requirements for traders to publish their terms of trade, and for merchants to report the gross sales price.

The second webinar, Thursday 9 March also at noon, will cover the rights and responsibilities of supermarkets and their suppliers under the Food and Grocery Code.

Both webinars will be hosted by the NFF Horticulture Council, with ACCC Deputy Chair and Agriculture Commissioner Mick Keogh joining as the expert guest.

With inflationary pressures growing within the horticulture sector, at farm level and along the supply chain, it is more important now than ever that growers, traders and supermarkets are all acting in ways that promote the fairness and efficiency of fresh produce markets.

Richard Shannon, Executive Officer of the NFF Horticulture Council, said the webinars were a timely response, not just to market pressures but also recent reports that have highlighted room for improvement.

“In addition to anecdotal reports from growers, ACCC audits and compliance checks through last year have revealed shortcomings in terms of adherence to the Horticulture Code of Conduct,” said Mr Shannon.

“Likewise, the latest report of the Independent Reviewer under the Food and Grocery Code found failings of supermarkets in meeting their own voluntary standards, including the time taken in responding to price rise requests from suppliers and concluding negotiations.

“We understand the majority of relationships between growers and their buyers are long standing and marked by mutual trust and respect.

“That said, codes of conduct, regardless of the trading relationship, still play an essential role in providing both parties an important benchmark of fairness that must be met and in creating a level playing field for the entire market.” 

The two webinars are open to the public. Registrations are essential.

Webinar details

Get to know your code: Horticulture Code of Conduct Fundamentals

• Thursday 23 February, 12pm

• Register here.

Get to know your code: Food and Grocery Code of Conduct Fundamentals

• Thursday 9 March, 12pm

• Register here.