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Horticulture Code has 100% support of grower groups

14 December 2006

THE National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) and Horticulture Australia Council (HAC) have welcomed today’s announcement by the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry of the introduction of a mandatory Horticulture Code of Conduct in 2007.

“NFF and HAC have been working closely with the Australian Government to develop a Code that will deliver a real improvement to the trading environment between growers and wholesalers… it has our 100% support,” NFF Vice-President Charles Burke said.

“While we are concerned that elements of the wholesale sector are attempting to hijack the Code by peddling misinformation about its impact, clearly this behaviour illustrates why the mandatory code is so desperately needed.

“The Horticulture Code of Conduct simply ensures that normal minimum business conditions will now apply to the wholesale sector, as they do elsewhere - nothing more and nothing less.”

Minister McGauran has advised that any agreements entered into on or after 15th December 2006, must abide by the terms of the Code, following implementation in 2007.
Mark Panitz, spokesman for Horticulture Australia Council added: “The Code will give growers confidence in electing to sell their produce through the wholesale sector.

“Growers will finally receive ‘bona fide’ signals from the marketplace, ensuring that they are rewarded for delivering a better and more consistent quality of product. These benefits will be seen throughout the supply chain, with consumers the ultimate winners.

“We would like to thank Minister McGauran and the Prime Minister for their continued efforts to take an objective view in delivering the Horticulture Code of Conduct.

“Our focus now turns to delivering a comprehensive education and training program for all horticulture sector stakeholders so they can take up the new arrangements with confidence.

“We will be working closely on this task with the Australian Competition and Consumer
Commission (ACCC) and the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF) in the lead up to the Code’s launch in 2007.”

[ENDS]

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