The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has won concessions from the country’s biggest chicken meat processors to make some of their contracts with farmers fairer.
The ACCC found unfair contracts could cause “significant financial harm to growers” and chicken processors have agreed to make some changes
The Labor Party has indicated support for proposed reforms that would allow companies to be penalised for unfair contracts
The £1.7 billion industry is dominated by two big companies, with Ingham’s and Baiada Poultry supplying about 70% of the chicken meat in Australia.
The ACCC said the companies held too much power and the contracts could cause “significant financial harm to growers”.
The body was asked in 2020 to conduct an inquiry into bargaining power imbalances in supply chains for perishable agricultural goods in Australia and came up with its report later that year.
Processors have now agreed to make changes to contracts to clarify the circumstances in which they may require growers to upgrade farm facilities, and when processors could make changes to their grower manuals.