ACCC says com­pli­ance au­dits will be com­ing

The Northern Star - Northern New South Wales Rural Weekly - - News -

THE Aus­tralian Com­pe­ti­tion and Con­sumer Com­mis­sion is putting grow­ers and traders in the hor­ti­cul­ture in­dus­try on no­tice that they need to take steps to com­ply with the 2017 Hor­ti­cul­ture Code of Con­duct, or face penal­ties and fines.

Ad­dress­ing the 2017 NSW Farm­ers Hor­ti­cul­ture Fo­rum, ACCC com­mis­sioner Mick Keogh called on grow­ers and traders to fa­mil­iarise them­selves with the code and en­sure their busi­nesses were com­pli­ant. Since the re­vised Hor­ti­cul­ture Code was in­tro­duced on April 1, the ACCC has worked with in­dus­try as­so­ci­a­tions to ed­u­cate grow­ers and traders about their rights and obli­ga­tions. The next stage of the ACCC’s work in re­la­tion to the code will be to be­gin com­pli­ance au­dits.

“Later this year the ACCC plans to use its in­ves­tiga­tive pow­ers to check the in­dus­try’s level of com­pli­ance with the Hor­ti­cul­ture Code. If code breaches are de­tected, the ACCC may take en­force­ment ac­tion,” Mr Keogh said.

“The code is de­signed to of­fer new pro­tec­tions for grow­ers and traders. We want the hor­ti­cul­tural in­dus­try to un­der­stand that breach­ing the code could mean fac­ing an in­fringe­ment no­tice or court ac­tion.” There will be penal­ties up to $63,000 for se­ri­ous breaches.

PHOTO: EL­IZA GOETZE

WARN­ING: ACCC boss said au­dits would be rolled out to en­sure the hor­ti­cul­ture code is be­ing fol­lowed.

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