NFF wel­comes Fed­eral Govern­ment move to re­form un­fair con­tract term pro­tec­tions

Australian Farmers & Dealers Journal - - NEWS -

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.”

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