It’s time to comply with the new Horticulture Code of Conduct – Provisions now in full effect
If you trade in horticulture produce, whether as a grower or a trader, you must ensure you are compliant with the Horticulture Code of Conduct, which is now in full effect.
From 1 April 2018, most growers and traders of horticulture produce are subject to the Code, which is regulated by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC). If you’re unsure if the Code applies to your activities, refer to the ACCC website.
As part of your obligations under the Code, you must now have a written Horticulture Produce Agreement which complies with the Code.
This Agreement must have specific provisions, including:
- any requirements for delivery of produce;
- any quantity or quality requirements;
- the specifications used to determine quality;
- circumstances under which produce can be rejected;
- quality specifications relating to any pooled produce;
- how price or commission will be calculated and when payment will be made; and
- the process for varying or terminating the agreement.
Growcom has made template Agreements available on its website.
Enforcement of the Code has been identified as an ACCC priority. Breaches of the Code could attract court-ordered penalties of up to $63,000. The ACCC can also issue infringement notices to the value of $10,500 for body corporates or $2,100 for individuals.
If you need further information or would like further guidance about the Code and your obligations, visit the ACCC website, or refer to any of the following resources:
- A fact sheet on the Code
- Answers to frequently asked questions about the Code
- Information on how packhouses are treated under the Code
- Examples of ‘dealing in good faith’
- Information on what needs to be in traders’ statements to growers
If you have any questions, please contact the ACCC using the details available on its website.
This post appeared in the AUSVEG Weekly Update published 3 April 2018.