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Growers urged – Don’t be bullied into wholesaler contracts

13 December 2006

THE National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) and Horticulture Australia Council (HAC) today expressed extreme concern about reports of horticulture producers being ‘bullied’ into signing contracts with wholesalers which aim to bypass the Horticulture Code of Conduct.

“As expected, wholesalers are providing a whole range of mis-information to growers about the Horticulture Code of Conduct and what impact it will have on producers’ trading environment with wholesalers,” NFF Vice-President Charles Burke said.

“The reality is that the Code will ensure growers have a clear understanding about the terms and conditions under which they sell produce.

“It is just plain rubbish that the Code will place excessive and onerous costs on the wholesale sector. As we have stated time and time again, all we have been working towards is the provision of normal minimum terms of doing business.”

Mark Panitz, spokesman for the Horticulture Australia Council added, “Many growers are currently experiencing pressure from wholesalers to sign alternative contracts that will effectively bypass the terms of the Horticulture Code.

“We strongly urge these growers to access appropriate legal advice to ensure they are fully aware of what these alternative contracts mean for their business.

“In addition, we would ask growers who are unsure about what the Horticulture Code will mean for their business, to seek clarification from their State or commodity farming representative body.

“Growers should have nothing to fear from the Horticulture Code of Conduct, despite what they might be told by some wholesalers.”

[ENDS]

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