The Turnbull Government has today released terms of reference for a review of the Food and Grocery Code of Conduct, and has announced that Professor Graeme Samuel AC will lead the review.
The review is intended to ensure that the Food and Grocery Code is working effectively as the first prescribed voluntary code under the Competition and Consumer Act 2010. The Code regulates the conduct of those supermarket retailers and wholesalers who have agreed to be bound by the Code in their dealings with suppliers. Under legislation, the review is required to start three years after the commencement of the Code.
Professor Samuel has extensive experience in economic policy and competition law roles, including as former chairman of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission and President of the National Competition Council. In 2010, he was made a Companion of the Order of Australia for eminent service to public administration through contributions in economic reform and competition law, and to the community through leadership roles within sporting and cultural organisations.
The Food and Grocery Code of Conduct was introduced in 2015 to deal with certain commercial practices of supermarkets and wholesalers that were negatively affecting suppliers to the detriment of consumers.
The terms of reference for the review are available here. Public consultation will commence shortly and stakeholders are encouraged to engage with the review through the Treasury website. Consultation will be undertaken with a range of stakeholders (retailers, suppliers, farms, government, regulators, legal and international bodies), including in regional areas.
A final report is expected to be released to Government within six months.