FMA Seeks Code of Conduct Fair Go for Wholesalers

Fresh Markets Australia (FMA) is coordinating a national campaign to secure a fair go for its 400 member wholesalers under the mandatory Horticulture Code of Conduct*. FMA said the Code, which determined how central market fruit and vegetables wholesalers transact with growers, was unfair, commercially restrictive and administratively onerous. The Code is under review, ahead of its expiry in April 2017, by a two-person panel appointed by the Minister for Agriculture Barnaby Joyce and (former) Minister for Small Business Bruce Billson. Mr Joyce is expected to make a decision on the future of the Code in the New Year. With the panel – which has no wholesaler representation – scheduled to report to Mr Joyce on 1 November, FMA is working hard to ensure the views of its wholesaler members are heard. FMA Executive Director Andrew Young said the FMA and the six central markets it represented had each made formal submissions to the review to put forward the case for reform.

“FMA supports the review of the Code – it presents the opportunity to ensure that equitable, effective, commercially-viable terms of trade between wholesalers and growers can be properly codified,” Mr Young said.

“It is critical for Australia’s horticulture industry that we get the Code of Conduct right. “FMA has presented the review panel with an amended version of the current Code which will deliver a more relevant, realistic and equitable set of rules under which fruit and vegetable growers and wholesalers can operate.”

Mr Young said the six Central Markets turned over $7 billion a year and were significant employment hubs, with more than 17,500 people employed directly or working on-site to buy fresh produce every day.

“Without the critical role played by central market wholesalers – who handle produce from more than 90% of Australia’s commercial fruit and vegetable growing establishments – Australia’s fruit and vegetable supply chain would collapse,” Mr Young said.

Mr Young said the Code, which was introduced in 2007, had not achieved its objectives and needed to be changed.
“FMA believes an effective Code that reflects the business needs of all stakeholders would improve commercial transparency in the fruit and vegetable industry, with better outcomes for growers and wholesalers,” he said.
For further information, please contact:
Andrew Young, Executive Director, on 07 3915 4200 or 0438 388 411
FMA is the national industry body representing wholesalers and supporting businesses in Australia’s six central
wholesale fruit and vegetable markets.

*Note: The Horticulture Code was established in 2007 to regulate trade in horticulture produce between growers and
traders of fresh fruit and vegetables and to provide an alternative dispute resolution procedure. The Horticulture
Code is a prescribed, mandatory industry code under the Competition and Consumer Act 2010. The code came into
operation with the aim of improving the clarity and transparency in transactions between horticulture growers and
traders and to provide some standard procedures and mandatory requirements in the trading relationship.

Download a printable PDF Version Fair go for wholesalers under Code of Conduct_280915