NFF welcomes Federal Government move to reform unfair contract term protections
THE National Farmers' Federation has welcomed the Federal Government's commitment to extending unfair contract term protections to small businesses. There are over 130,000 farm businesses in Australia and most are small and medium-sized enterprises. Chief executive officer of the NFF, Simon Talbot, said that primary producers are in a uniquely vulnerable position, due to the time pressures and logistical disadvantages in supplying perishable goods. “Consumers rightly have protection against unfair contract terms,” Mr Talbot said.
“That protection needs to be extended to the small and medium-sized businesses which are primary producers of perishable commodities.”
Mr Talbot said that participation in the perishable commodities market was highly competitive and condensed. “Primary producers are commonly dealt with on a ‘take it or leave it' basis. Their ability to negotiate alternative terms of trade with those in a dominant market position is limited,” he said.
“They have goods they have to sell and very limited time frames. We appreciate the Federal Government's understanding of their situation, and their commitment to do something about it.”
“The proposed legislation will help ensure that primary producers can act as reasonable commercial parties engaging in routine negotiations.”