Review of code needed
THE NSW Farmers’ Association (NSWFA) says greater market transparency is the key to reducing grocery prices for Australian families.
NSWFA horticulture committee chairman Peter Darley says recent OECD statistics show Australian food prices have risen 40 per cent in the past decade, but did not reflect the returns for farmers.
“In fact, it is very difficult to establish what share of the retail dollar belongs to farmers, given the vagaries and lack of price reporting in the fresh produce market in Australia,” Mr Darley said.
“The key to fixing this has been identified by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission in its recommendations on the Horticulture Code of Conduct,” he said.
An earlier ACCC investigation into grocery prices made 13 recommendations relating to horticulture, including a review of the code and an extension of it to include major supermarket chains and other retailers, processors and exporters.
“If these recommendations were implemented, the entire industry, and in turn the consumer, will benefit in the long term from improved efficiencies and transparency,” Mr Darley said.
The code of conduct commenced in 2007 to regulate dealings between horticultural growers and wholesalers and reduce disputes.
“The Government’s own report has clearly shown that by implementing the ACCC recommendations, we can establish a clearer, fairer system,” he said.
“It is clear from the OECD figures that this is something consumers need as much as the producers, so we urge the Government to move on this issue.”