Group seeks strong action
GROWCOM is not happy with the imbalance of bargaining power between supermarkets and suppliers and has called for change.
Growcom chief advocate Rachel Mackenzie said Growcom was unconvinced the imbalance of bargaining power between supermarkets and suppliers was properly addressed.
“Growcom has repeatedly argued that the fruit and vegetable sector is characterised by a large number of small suppliers trading in a highly perishable product, which puts the industry at a unique disadvantage in negotiating fair terms with retailers,” she said.
“The general consensus from growers who supply the major retailers, about this voluntary Code, is that there are too many caveats and opportunities for alternatives to be negotiated.
“If the fundamental issue centres on a lack of power at the negotiation table, then small suppliers are hardly likely to be able to argue against supply agreements that are not in their favour.
“The dispute resolution mechanism is too weak and does not address the inherent issues of imbalance of power as it is too reliant on an in-house complaints procedure.
“The voluntary Code as it stands has no teeth to do what it was written to do.
“We’d like to ask the Senate Committee how ... no change was needed, given the number of voices calling for stronger regulation.”