Mandatory Grocery Code To Be Legislated

by | Jun 27, 2024 | Australia, News

The Australian  Government has accepted all recommendations from the Emerson review of supermarket conduct, including a mandatory Food and Grocery Code of Conduct. 

The Government has pledged to legislate new fines for breaches of the grocery code which according to review author Craig Emerson will help ensure it effectively addresses market imbalances between supermarkets and suppliers. The review recommends maximum fines of $10m, 10% of turnover in the preceding 12 months or three times the benefit gained from the contravening conduct — whichever is greater. A dispute resolution process will be established. Under the constitution, a mandatory code can’t impose binding arbitration, however, Woolworths, Coles, ALDI and Metcash have all agreed to binding arbitration in principle. The review also recommends the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) establish an anonymous channel to receive complaints about retribution as well as other code breaches.

Reacting to the final report and recommendations, the National Farmers Federation said it would help protect farmers through clear, credible and enforceable reform.