Vegetable industry body AUSVEG has welcomed the legislation of amendments to strengthen Australia’s competition law, including the addition of an ‘effects test’, saying it will provide a greater ability for the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) to take action against serious misuses of market power where they are uncovered and ensure an open and transparent business environment in the Australian fresh produce industry open to new competition.

AUSVEG National Manager – Public Affairs Jordan Brooke-Barnett said that this reform, which involves the addition of an ‘effects test’ to Section 46 of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010, will provide the ACCC with the ability to take action where the actions of a company have had the effect of causing a substantial reduction in competition.

“Australian farmers are better off when there are multiple retailers and wholesale buyers competing to buy their produce. While there has been substantial consolidation in the retail sector over the years, there have also been promising signs with a number of independent and international retailers establishing in Australia,” said Mr Brooke-Barnett.

“It is vital that the Australian has open and transparent markets which are conducive to encouraging new competition and the introduction of an ‘effects test’ will provide the ACCC with a greater ability to take action against instances of misuse of market power across all industries.”

AUSVEG acknowledges the efforts of the Australian Government in working to address competition issues in the agriculture sectors. This includes funding a dedicated Agricultural Commissioner and team within the ACCC and recent reforms to the Horticulture Code of Conduct.

“We appreciate the recent focus on agriculture within the ACCC, which ensures there is a well-resourced and knowledgeable team that farmers can contact when they have concerns,” said Mr Brooke-Barnett.

“The Australian horticulture industry contributes significantly to the national economy, provides tens of thousands of jobs and is predominantly made up of small business owners who rely on competitive and vibrant domestic markets to underpin their future.”

AUSVEG is the leading horticultural body representing Australia’s vegetable and potato growers.

The reformed Section 46 will prohibit a corporation from engaging in conduct with the purpose, effect or likely effect of substantially lessening competition in a market in which it directly or indirectly participates. The additional amendments will come into effect once they have passed the Parliament.

MEDIA CONTACT: Jordan Brooke-Barnett, AUSVEG National Manager – Public Affairs
Phone: (08) 8221 5220; Mobile: 0404 772 308; Email: