Fresh off his detailed examination of supermarket-supplier relationships, Independent Reviewer of the Food and Grocery Code of Conduct Dr Craig Emerson will address the largest annual gathering of the horticulture industry at next week’s Hort Connections 2024 in Melbourne.

Dr Emerson released his Interim Report into the Food and Grocery Code of Conduct Review in April, in which he recommended the Code be made mandatory, along with other measures to strengthen the rules of engagement for supermarkets and suppliers.

The report is a significant milestone in the highly publicised debate about Australia’s grocery retail sector, and Dr Emerson will speak to horticulture industry stakeholders about rebalancing the supplier-retailer relationship.

“Relationships between supermarkets and suppliers have been a hot topic of discussion during 2024, so we are very pleased to have Dr Emerson speak to the horticulture industry as part of the Hort Connections 2024 conference,” said AUSVEG CEO Michael Coote.

“Having been immersed in the many complex facets of this issue, Dr Emerson is sure to offer Hort Connections delegates informative and thought-provoking insights ahead of the release of his Final Report of the Food and Grocery Code of Conduct Review.”

Hort Connections is the largest gathering of growers and other horticulture stakeholders in Australia, with 3,500 industry participants expected through the doors over 3-5 June.

Dr Emerson will speak on Wednesday 5 June as part of the Hort Connections plenary sessions, held at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre.

The plenary program will also feature high-profile investment banker David Williams, the Chairman of PolyNovo Limited, RMA Global Limited and Inoviq Limited.

His extensive involvement in the agriculture, food and beverage industry has included famously bringing Vegemite back to Australia, the merger of SPC and Ardmona, and bringing Tassal out of receivership.

Mr Williams will speak to growers and other industry stakeholders about business models for long-term commercial viability in the horticulture sector.For more information about Hort Connections and to register for the event, please visit

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