After months of negotiation, Coles and Woolworths, and the Australian Food and Grocery Council (AFGC) have reached an historic agreement on the terms of a new industry code of conduct.
The Food and Grocery Code sets out a set of principles relating to key aspects of trading relationships between retailers and suppliers. It is intended that the code will usher a new era of certainty for suppliers, without adding without adding red tape or additional costs.
Key aspects of the Code include:
- Tough restrictions on retrospective and unilateral variations to grocery supply agreements;
- Greater transparency on the basis of shelf allocation for branded and private label products;
- Recognition of the importance of intellectual property rights and confidentiality in driving innovation and investment in new products; and
- A low cost and fast track dispute resolution mechanism.
The Food and Grocery Council says the agreement is the culmination of months of discussions between the parties and highlights constructive dialogue and goodwill across the sector. The council says it hopes other retailers and industry groups will also agree to the Code.
Furthermore, it is being proposed to Government that the new food and grocery industry code be prescribed under the Competition and Consumer Act.