Food and Grocery Code of Conduct now in effect

Wednesday, 17 June 2015:

I am pleased to announce that no obstacles remain to retailers signing on to the Competition and Consumer (Industry Codes—Food and Grocery) Regulation 2015 – The Food and Grocery Code of Conduct with the disallowance period in the Senate ending.

I congratulate Woolworths and ALDI for showing industry leadership by committing to the code and I have been encouraged by the positive statements of intention from Coles to also sign on to this supermarket industry led Code. I urge Metcash to join them in this initiative to improve commercial relationships throughout the entire supply chain of Australia’s grocery sector.

The Code was prescribed on the 26th of February 2015, has passed both the House of Representatives and the Senate.

The Code will ensure that relationships between retailers and suppliers are built on good faith and help them work together to achieve positive outcomes for the health and vitality of our grocery sector and the good of Australian consumers.

The Code applies to retailers and wholesalers, and features:
• an obligation to enter into grocery supplyagreements in writing;
• minimum standards of behaviour in dealings with suppliers, including an obligation to act in good faith and a prohibition against threatening suppliers with business disruption or termination without reasonable grounds; and
• dispute resolution mechanisms to assist
suppliers in resolving disputes.

The Code is comprehensive and covers contractual dealings such as supplier funded promotions, labelling, shelf space and positioning, intellectual property and payments for wastage. The ACCC is now responsible for enforcement of the Code.

The Government is committed to ensuring Australia is the very best place to start and grow a business.

When businesses become signatories to this code, they are signalling their commitment to growing Australian business, ensuring healthy competition, and undertaking best practice commercial behaviour.

Media Contact: Sally Branson 0455 050 045