April 8, 2024


Australian National Farmers Federation calls for code of conduct in poultry industry


The Australian National Farmers Federation (NFF) has advocated for the adoption of a mandatory code of conduct to address concerns about the dominant market position held by Australian chicken-meat processors, Grain Central reported.


Titled "Exploring the potential for a Code of Conduct to increase market transparency and competition in Australian poultry meat supply chains," the report was commissioned by the NFF and funded by Australia's Federal Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry. It forms part of a series of projects aimed at enhancing competition and transparency in Australia's perishable agriculture goods (PAG) industries.


Highlighting the significance of the poultry sector in Australia's agricultural landscape, the report underscores the industry's substantial reliance on feed grain, with chicken-meat producers accounting for approximately 25% of the country's feed consumption.


The findings of the report resonate with those of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission's (ACCC) 2020 PAG Inquiry, identifying concerning practices within the supply chain that adversely affect growers.


Farmers' grievances include limited choice in processors, challenges in comparing price offerings, unfair contract negotiation terms, and obstacles to collective bargaining efforts, among others.


In response to these issues, workshops specific to the poultry meat sector were convened in 2021 by the Australian Government to explore the feasibility of a code of conduct and benchmarking practices aimed at enhancing price and market transparency.


Tony Mahar, CEO of the NFF, emphasised the necessity of a mandatory code of conduct in addressing the systemic challenges faced by poultry farmers, drawing parallels with successful interventions in other agricultural sectors.


David Banham, NSW Farmers poultry meat manager, echoed these sentiments, focusing on the urgent need for reform within the sector to ensure fair trading practices and safeguard the interests of poultry farmers.


-      Grain Central

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