With the current challenges growers are facing with rising farm input costs and the margin squeeze from buyers, it is important that growers are reminded about the various tools that are available to assist them during price negotiations

Codes of conduct help outline what growers and buyers obligations are. The following codes are helpful for growers in the horticulture industry:

Horticulture Code of Conduct
Recently the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) announced findings in relation to the Horticulture Code of Conduct that some fruit and vegetable wholesalers were not meeting their legal obligations under the code.

The ACCC conducted audits and found that fruit and vegetable wholesalers were trading without Horticulture Produce Agreements (HPAs) in place, as well as wholesalers incorrectly reporting prices in their statements back to growers, and failing to make their terms of trade publicly available.

This is a timely reminder for growers to ensure their HPAs are compliant with the Horticulture Code and that growers should only sign the HPA if they are comfortable with the conditions.

Should growers feel that they are not comfortable with the conditions, there are avenues in which they can consider such as dispute resolution through the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman (ASBFEO).

For more information on the code see below.

Food and Grocery Code of Conduct
The Food and Grocery Code of Conduct is a voluntary code and captures the major retailers including ALDI, Coles, Woolworths and Metcash.
The requirements under the Code prescribe that the code signatories must report to the code arbiter on the number of price requests received from suppliers and information around the number of days it taken to conclude a position.

There are also a number of protections and support for growers under the code to assist them in their own price negotiations with retailers.
For more information on the code see below.

Australian Agriculture Visa update
Further details of the Australian Agriculture Visa were released this week including;

  • Updated Factsheet
  • Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
  • Program Settings

Information on the visa can be found here

Federal Election called
Earlier this week a Federal Election was called for May 21.

AUSVEG has been advocating its Federal Election priorities since the start of 2022 with various meetings with all sides of government and federal departments.

To read AUSVEG’s media release, please click here.

To see AUSVEG’s Federal Election Priorities, see here.