Senate report highlights need for stronger grocery code

The Senate’s supermarket report highlights the need to strengthen the Food and Grocery Code of Conduct, says the Australian Food and Grocery Council (AFGC).

The report recommended the Code be strengthened through tougher penalties and the introduction of an independent arbiter and underlined the reality and concern over fear of retribution faced by food and grocery manufacturers.

Tanya Barden, CEO of the AFGC, said the entire food and grocery supply chain, from retailers to suppliers and consumers, remains under pressure.

“We all need to share the costs as well as the benefits equitably without putting any one link in that chain under undue pressure.”

The report also recommended divesture powers for the supermarket sector, which would give the Federal Court the power to break up corporations when they abuse their market power or act unconscionably.

The AFGC considers these powers potentially premature at this stage given the commitments the government has made to strengthen the merger laws and Food and Grocery Code of Conduct.

The AFGC’s submission to the inquiry called for investment incentives that drive manufacturing capability and job creation through boosting the sector’s competitiveness, resilience, and agility.

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