ACCC accepts undertaking for alleged breaches of Horticulture Code

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) announced has accepted a court enforceable undertaking from a Victorian produce trader, V. & A. Liangos Pty Ltd (VAL), for alleged breaches of the Horticulture Code. The Horticulture Code is a mandatory industry code prescribed under the Competition and Consumer Act 2010.

Following a compliance audit, the ACCC considers that VAL contravened the Horticulture Code by:
  • trading in horticulture produce with growers without entering into horticulture produce agreements (HPAs); and
  • not preparing or making publically available a document that sets out the general terms and conditions under which it will trade with growers (Terms of Trade).
"The ACCC will continue to use its investigation powers to monitor compliance by traders with the Horticulture Code and take appropriate enforcement action where necessary," ACCC Deputy Chair Dr Michael Schaper said.

"The ACCC encourages growers to contact us if they consider that a trader is not meeting its obligations under the Code. Complaints can be made to the ACCC anonymously," Dr Schaper said.

As part of its undertaking, VAL will not, for a period of three years, trade in horticulture produce unless it has entered into a compliant HPA with the relevant grower.

VAL will also prepare and make publically available a document that sets out its Terms of Trade and will send a letter to each grower with which it has traded enclosing a copy of its Terms of Trade and a proposed HPA. All employees of VAL will also attend trade practices compliance training.

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