Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Food and grocery manufacturers welcome review of essential industry code

The peak body for Australia’s largest manufacturing sector has welcomed the announcement from Assistant Minister for Competition, Charities and Treasury, and Assistant Minister for Employment, Dr Andrew Leigh, of the second review of the Food and Grocery Code of Conduct (the Code).

“Since its inception in 2015, the Code has been an essential element of how food and grocery manufacturers conduct their business with supermarket retailers,” says Australian Food & Grocery Council CEO Tanya Barden. “While the relationship between suppliers and retailers has improved since the Code came into effect, this review comes at a time of increased pressure on margins, strained supply chains and follows years of industry disruption.”

As a voluntary code prescribed under the Competition and Consumer Act 2010, the Code was introduced to improve standards of business behaviour in the food and grocery sector, including the conduct of retailers and wholesalers towards suppliers.

“Previous reviews have made improvements to the relationship between suppliers and retailers, and industry expects the changes we pursue this time around will reflect the current environment and the new challenges we face,” Ms Barden said. “In some cases, manufacturers can be entirely reliant on one retailer as a customer. Having the Code to outline how both parties are to engage on things like price and listing of products is incredibly important.”

“We look forward to engaging with government as they embark on this review and do so with the view of ensuring a competitive and productive environment for the food and grocery manufacturing sector in Australia,” Ms Barden said.

The AFGC was a founding party in the development of the Code and has been a leading voice in its evolution over the years.

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