AUSTRALIA, Barton The tabling in Parliament in March of the Food and Grocery Industry Code of Conduct is a historic step towards levelling the playing field for food and grocery suppliers in their transactions with the major supermarkets, said the Australian Food and Grocery Council (AFGC).
AFGC CEO Mr Gary Dawson welcomed the announcement by the Minister for Small business Bruce Billson as integral to achieving a meaningful and enforceable Code that will drive behavioural change to encourage fair and effective competition in the long term interests of consumers.
Key aspects of the Code include:
- Tough restrictions on retrospective and unilateral variations to grocery supply agreements;
- Greater transparency on the basis of shelf allocation for branded and private label products;
- Recognition of the importance of intellectual property rights and confidentiality in driving innovation and investment in new products; and
- A low cost and fast track dispute resolution mechanism.
Dawson also acknowledged Minister Billson’s ongoing commitment in developing the Code.
“The Minister for Small Business has been one of the strongest advocates of the Code, which sets clear ‘no go’ areas, including the types of behaviour that led to recent unconscionable conduct cases. Once in place it will set clearer rules of engagement.”
“It provides a real opportunity to drive changes in behaviour and be a real circuit breaker in retailer-supplier relations by entrenching new standards of behaviour including at buyer level,” said Mr Dawson.
Source: Australian Food and Grocery Council