Tuesday, June 18, 2024

ACCC reminds suppliers of their rights

All suppliers to Coles, Woolworths and ALDI now have the full benefit of the Food and Grocery Code of Conduct says ACCC Chairman Rod Sims.

Reports received by the ACCC suggest that a majority of suppliers have chosen to enter code-compliant grocery supply agreements (GSAs) with supermarkets. Mr Sims says suppliers of ALDI, Coles and Woolworths who had not yet signed new GSAs still have the default protections provided by the code, which overlay their existing terms.

“Suppliers who have negotiated and signed agreements with the supermarkets, however, have the benefit of clarity of terms,” he said.

At least 1,500 suppliers have undertaken training on the code, under which, supermarkets must also provide training to their staff.

“We encourage suppliers to use this knowledge to negotiate GSAs with supermarkets,” Mr Sims said.

The Australian Food and Grocery Council has recently publicised the results of a survey that revealed a number of code-related issues being raised by suppliers, including:

  • Requests to suppliers for payments to make up shortfalls in supermarket profits.
  • Specificity of criteria for range reviews and delisting of products. Under the code, supermarkets must notify suppliers of their product ranging and space allocation principles.
  • Payment terms.

“The issue of late payment of suppliers’ invoices by supermarkets has recently caused wider public comment,” Mr Sims said. “The ACCC is also aware that some GSAs define a 30-day payment term, for example, to mean 45 days.

“The ACCC continues to monitor compliance with the code and encourages suppliers who have concerns about their dealings with the supermarkets to raise them with the ACCC.”

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