17 August 2017 –
A first round of Horticulture Code workshops conducted in Central Markets around Australia saw 400 attendees receive an overview about the new code. This preliminary training was conducted in April and May so as to give Central market Wholesalers the opportunity to get an overview of the requirements of the new Horticulture Code of Conduct.
The national organisation representing wholesalers in each of Australia’s six Central Markets, Fresh Markets Australia (FMA), has also been working closely with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) finalising standard format documents for use by Traders and Growers.
Under the 2017 Code, growers and wholesalers, or traders as they are referred to in the Code, must enter into a Horticulture Produce Agreement (HPA) which requires the agreement itself and additional documents, such as Terms of Trade, to be accepted by both parties.
FMA’s standard format documents, including HPAs, a Schedule to the HPA and Terms of Trade, will assist wholesalers to be confident they and the grower’s they deal with are Code compliant.
FMA’s solicitors provided all the standard format documents to the ACCC for review and all the feedback provided was acted upon.
As such, FMA is very confident the documents are compliant with the Code.
A second round of workshops is now being delivered in all Central markets around Australia, which include a more targeted focus for business owners and senior administration staff. FMA spokesperson, Andrew Young said over a further 200 attendees had already participated and many more were expected as the workshops continued.
Through the second round of workshops, FMA is providing a guide to completing the standard format documents, so that wholesalers can customise and distribute the required documents to their grower suppliers.
Young says the organisation was focussed on ensuring that the 300 primary wholesaling business represented by FMA did all they could to understand their responsibilities under the new Code.
“As you can appreciate, we are making a concerted effort to promote wholesaler compliance with the Code and in having wholesalers being pro-active in seeking grower compliance,” said Mr Young.
“As the same time, we acknowledge that the Code is relatively complex and it may take time for the majority of traders and growers to be fully across its requirements, which is why FMA has been focussed on educating our wholesalers about their responsibilities,” he said.